When ReWater MENA was launched at Cairo Water Week in Egypt in 2018, it marked the start of an ambitious four-year project to expand the safe reuse of water in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Like many parts of the world, the MENA region does not have enough water to meet rising demand.
IWMI has strong track records on water reuse, including those from the ReWater MENA project. As a recognition to IWMI’s work, Javier Mateo-Sagasta, Senior researcher and project leader of ReWaterMENA, was invited to provide policy recommendations for more and safer water reuse in the Arab Region at the Fourth meeting of the High-Level joint Water-Agriculture Technical Committee of the League of Arab States (LOAS).
The ReWater MENA project, a project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), reached its end after four intense years of collaborative research between different partners.
Increasing water shortages in Lebanon has made informal water reuse become a common practice. In the dry summer months, reusing treated (or untreated) wastewater has helped farmers compensate for their irrigation needs and alleviate pressure on freshwater.
Water is part of every step in the food value chain, from food production to processing and consumption. A dependency that is hampering food security in a water scarce region such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Water is part of every step in the food value chain, from food production to processing and consumption. This dependency is hampering food security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Comprising 11 of the 17 most water-stressed countries in the world, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is considered the most water-scarce region in the world, according to UNICEF.
Recycling water could supplement, or substitute water needs in sectors suffering from water shortage, reduce groundwater pumping and alleviate the use of freshwater in the agricultural sector, researchers of the “Water reuse in Middle East and North Africa: A sourcebook” have reported.
Only 4% of Egypt’s arid landscape is cultivable. Irrigating this land mass requires a disproportionate 86% consumption of the country’s total available fresh water (FAO, 2016). Irrigation efficiency in the country’s water resources management was necessitated by the introduction of cotton by the colonial British administration, which was a turning point in the country’s agrarian political economy.
The ReWater MENA project has been working since 2018 on expanding the safe reuse of water in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with a focus on Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. After four years of many learnings, dialogues, collaborations and knowledge production about water reuse in the region, the closing workshop will be the occasion to synthesize the key learnings and practical outputs of the project.