Water management is a key priority for most of the Mediterranean countries and most of the water problems are due to the mismanagement of the water resources and to the incoherency among different policies impacting on water. Water-DROP project aims to develop an integrated water cycle management approach at the Mediterranean Sea Basin level for managing the related crosssector issues through the enforcement of multi-stakeholder partnerships, in particular with public and private actors. The Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. (ENEA), hosted the First Partner Meeting from 21 to 22 May 2014 in Rome, Italy.
All project partners attended the meeting: 50 participants from South Mediterranean Countries, Spain, Italy and Cyprus, International Organizations and NGO, Academics and other stakeholders.
The covenants exchanged information about the state of the art of the project, for better tuning its Plan of Action; they also nominated members of the Project Management Unit (PMU), Financial Board (FB), and Steering Committee (SC). ENEA is the project coordinator. Its general activities and multidisciplinary competences, as developed along its history, were illustrated by Massimo Iannetta (Head of ENEA Technical Unit for Sustainable Development and Agro- Industrial Innovation – UTAGRI) in his opening address.
Marios Valiantis from University of Nicosia (UNic), will be the focal point for harmonising and coordinating data collection among the pilot studies.
The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a Lebanese public research institution and will coordinate all activities related to Pilot Actions for monitoring, water treatment, water governance and cost-benefit analysis. Stefano Lelli gave details of pilot activities in Lebanon, which will also utilise a specially equipped vessel (R/V CANA-CNRS), donated by the Italian Governmental Cooperation.
Abdelrahman Tamini, from Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), illustrated the project actions related to services in rural area, waste water treatment and re-use. The PHG is the largest Palestinian NGO working to improve access to water and sanitation services, and to monitor pollution and climate change in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Mufleh Abbadi, in representation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN-ROWA), Mediterranean Conference mentioned the commitment of IUCN in promoting the capitalization of the project’s results at the Mediterranean level. He also referred about selection criteria to identifythe three communities in Balqa governorate that will benefit, as pilote case studies, of the Water Drop actions. The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation.
Ludovica Giordano and Loris Pietrelli (ENEA) and Marios Valiantis are in charge for the development and implementation of the DSS-GIS (Decision Support System + geographic Information System) tool to be used by National and Local Administration for the management of water resources in the target countries. Many NGOs from Northern Mediterranean countries are also involved in the project, with special attention to dissemination activities, involvement of local communities, actions in schools. Representatives of Italian Ngos (Francesca Ottolenghi from Haliéus and Federica D’Amico from ARCS Arci Cultura e Sviluppo) and the Spanish NGO (Amaia Camacho, Asamblea de Cooperación por la Paz) quickly illustrated main activities and the role that each of them played in the of proposals, based on extensive experience accumulated by the regional institution in the context of planning, scheduling, defining guidelines and normative acts to coordinate and harmonise national, regional and district level policies.
Ciarán Ó Cuinn from the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC, Oman) and Vincenzo Striano from Water Right Foundation (WRF. Italy) confirmed the interest of their institutions of actively collaborating with the project, also facilitating the targeting of relevant policy stakeholders.
Water-DROP brochures were distributed in related folders, the official project poster was exposed during the meeting. Many news were published and press released by ENEA to disseminate the Kick Off Meeting of Water-DROP project from March to May 2014. Attached, the brochure and folder, the poster and a list of the most significant press-releases.