What's New

The 'Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia' Launched in Stockholm

ESCWA and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) launched the Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia on 3 september at the World Water Week in Stockholm. This publication is the first effort led by the United Nations to comprehensively identify and assess the state of transboundary surface and groundwater resources in the Middle East, and was prepared in close consultation with ESCWA member countries as well as regional and international experts.

"This unique publication in its groundbreaking information and distinctive preparation process that actively involved ESCWA member countries will provide new insights for future research on shared water resources in the region and will serve as a basis for continuing regional cooperation on water as well as other natural resources that are strategic for this region and often of shared nature," indicated Roula Majdalani, director SDPD.

Boasting 60 new maps and over 200 figures, tables and boxes with recent, comprehensive data series, the Inventory provides an up-to-date view of the state and evolution of shared water resources in Western Asia. It thus constitutes a sound scientific basis for informing discussion and fostering dialogue on these precious resources that have become increasingly important to sustain development in an era of growing demand and dwindling supply.

One of the key findings of the Inventory is the largely neglected fact that water quality in the region is rapidly deteriorating and is eclipsed by concerns over quantity.The Inventory also points out that there are more shared water resources in Western Asia than was generally assumed and the lack of accurate data hampers joint water management. Another finding stresses that it is already too late to save some shared waters and countries need to cooperate more closely in order to sustain the shared resources that remain.

The Inventory is published on a dedicated website which allows users to browse contents and download individual chapters and maps, available at www.waterinventory.org.For further inquiries, kindly contact waterinventory@un.org
Copyright UN-ESCWA