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Shared Water Resources in the Arab Region: Regional launch of the ESCWA-BGR Inventory

 
On the sidelines of the UN Day celebrations (24 October), a panel discussion was organized for the regional launch of the Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia.

In order to shed light on the precious natural resources and promote dialogue between countries sharing water resources, ESCWA and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) have prepared the Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia. It is the first effort led by the United Nations to comprehensively assess the state of transboundary surface and groundwater resources in the region.This very informative 600-page publication includes 60 new maps of shared water resources in the region.

Following its global launch in September during the World Water Week in Stockholm, the regional launching event, which was held on 25 October 2013, gathered speakers of profound experience in development and water issues. They were ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khoury; Director of SDPD Roula Majdalani; former ESCWA-BGR Project Coordinator Andreas Renck; Head of Palestinian Water Authority Minister Shaddad Atilli; Director –General of Lebanese Energy and Water Ministry and Member of ESCWA Committee on Water Resources Fadi Comair; and Head of Cooperation and Economic Departments at the Federal German Republic Embassy in Beirut Hanan Abdul Rida.

More than half of freshwater resources in the ESCWA region are transboundary water resources, which presents an opportunity for cooperation and for conflict among countries. With increasing water scarcity, recurrent droughts, on-going crises and population displacement, water security remains elusive and a recurrent source of conflict in this politically-sensible part of the world. One of the salient examples is the well-known Jordan River Basin, whereby Israeli occupation continues to hamper the ability of the Palestinian people to exercise full sovereignty over their water resources, and to create tensions at the borders with Lebanon and Syria. The sound management of shared water resources is therefore a core component of water security and sustainable development in the region. In this regard, the Inventory constitutes a sound scientific basis of information and cooperation in an era of growing demand and dwindling water supply.

The Inventory is published on a dedicated website which allows to browse contents and download individual chapters and maps, at www.waterinventory.org

For further inquiries concerning the publication, kindly contact waterinventory@un.org.
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