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Introduction

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The official name of the MEDA Water programme is Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for Local Water Management.

The Programme is part of the support of the European Union for the development of the water sector in the North African and Middle East (MENA) countries under the MEDA Regional Indicative Programming. The available budget for MEDA Water is € 40 million. From this amount, nine different consortia of non-profit organisations (NGOs, Universities and Government Agencies) receive grants up to € 5 million for the implementation of measures related to local water management.

The programme started in 2002 with a call for proposals. Out of more than 40 applications, 9 projects were selected for implementation. Implementation of the first projects started in May 2003 and activities will last until the end of 2008. The EMWIS project, though not financed from the MEDA Water programme but from the general MEDA budget, has important dissemination tasks with respect to the MEDA Water programme and is therefore also included in this website.

Also from the same budget, MED-EUWI is supported in the execution of its tasks. Among these count two pilot projects (Ec’Eau Sebou in Morocco and Litani River in Lebanon) in the framework of the Joint Process WFD-MEDEUWI.

The Programme intents to improve local water management conditions through co-operation of non-profit organisations from EU countries and non-profit organisations in the MENA countries, capacity building, construction of demonstration plants, technology transfer and creation of awareness. It aims mainly at three technical components, (i) water supply and wastewater reuse (in agriculture and in an urban set-up), (ii) irrigation water management and (iii) improvement of decision-making structures in irrigation, rural water supply and sanitation, and drought management.

Encouraging results have been achieved in all sectors mentioned above. Successes can be reported in many fields. Farmers increasingly manage their water resources themselves; villages now plan improvement of water availability and its use, and negotiate their investment needs with local, regional and national authorities; through clear guidelines and pilot projects wastewater reuse is becoming more accepted. North-South academic exchanges have taken place on a large scale on subjects such as drought management, wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, autonomous desalination, irrigation technology, dissemination technology and others. The capacity of MENA countries to solve their problems has therefore increased. Due to this, the European Commission now considers to implement a follow-up phase of selected Programme activities.

 

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