Arab Water Council – The Arab Water Council Is Launched

May 12,2004

April 14, 2004 is a key day in the history of water in the Arab World . It marked the meeting of

great gathering of experts, scientists, practitioners, politicians, decision makers and the public

who are having interest in water issues. One decision stood out from all the debates and

discussions is the establishment of the

society organization.

The Arab Water Council primary tasks are to deal with the water challenges facing the Arab

world in the 21

efficiently for the benefits of the inhabitants of the twenty countries in the Arab States region.

The Arab States Region is facing the most critical water related challenges emanating from

intrinsic and internal causes, which are manifested in:

Arab Water Council as a voluntary, not -for-profit, civilst century and develop ways and means to deal with them effectively and

resources in the region.

Continuously rising water scarcity due to the shortages of natural renewable water

Dependencies on river and ground waters shared with countries outside the region.

reduced rates of rural employment and agriculture development opportunities.

Erosion of capacity to provide food and secure it for future generations and continual

pollution control and lack of wastewater treatment standards and facilities.

Deterioration of quality of surface and ground waters at alarming levels due to weak

population, thus affecting their health, quality of life, and their standards of living.

Lack of access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation for the majority of the

technology, modern management, and contemporary know-how.

Low level of indigenous water technology and reliance on imported equipment,

local water policies and programs.

Absence of regional approach, common vision, and coherence in regional, national, and

to fill in the gap.

Globalization of issues in trade, economics, and political aspects are not necessarily protecting

the vulnerable. The asymmetry is manifesting itself in many facets affecting water resources

management, access, uses, and security for present and future generation of population in the

region. The Region finds itself invariably always at the disadvantaged position with respect of

the following factors:

Inability of the public sector to cope with the challenges and failure of the private sector

Food trade and agricultural subsides;

The growth of virtual water concept;

and growing concerns on trans-boundary water conflicts;


Non-ratification of the United Nations convention on non-navigational use of water

Privatization of water and role of multinational firms;


Declining financial resources for water development from IFI and external support

Global tendencies towards coordinated water and agricultural policies;


The Arab Water Council endeavors to promote better understanding and

management of the water resources in the Arab States in a multi-disciplinary,

non-political, professional and scientific manner; to disseminate knowledge,

enhance sharing of experience and information for the rational and comprehensive

water resources development of the region for the benefits of its inhabitants.

The Arab Water Council is being formed based on the following

Potential disputes on shared and transboundary waters.mission of the Arab Water Council is:guiding principles:

Inclusivity to cover the broadest range of stakeholder as members and driving forces.

members and the society it serves.

Openness and transparency to ensure accountability and responsiveness to the needs of

adequate checks and balances for the majority and minorities.

Democratic governance to ensure fair representation and equity of power sharing with

organization reflect solely those of the region without undue influence from other sources.

The common public good must rein very high.

Independence from centralized powers at the global level so that the interests of the

sectors, users and country borders without compromising the national integrity and

sovereignty of any country.

Applying the integrated approach to water management that transcends the boundaries of



1. Influence decision-making process, policy formulation, and strategic

orientation for better water management in the region.

2. Represent the regional views at international and global fora dealing with

issues of political, institutional, legal, and financial nature, transfer of

knowledge, conceptual development of policies, strategies and plans of

actions related to water resources and its uses.

3. Advocate the rational and comprehensive water management to ensure

efficient, effective, and equitable utilization of available water resources and

technologies for the benefits of the inhabitants of the region.

4. Advise the public, private, and voluntary sectors on undertakings,

development, planning, design, operation, and maintenance of water systems

at regional, national, and local levels.

5. Assure the appropriate participation of the stakeholders in decision-making

processes and equitable sharing of the benefits of water development.

“ The time has come for the Arab World to take on the initiative and the full responsibility

for its vital water resources. The time has gone when such matters were relegated to


international institutions and foreign organizations “declared Dr Mahmoud Abu-Zeid the

President of the Arab Water Council. Dr. Abu-Zeid concluded that ” The lessons learned

from the era of rapid global changes are that the best position is self-reliance and the best

decisions are those made from within the region by its people to the benefits of its

inhabitants. We do not lack the will or the good intentions nor we lack the ability,

knowledge or the justification to for the creation of the Arab Water Council “. He noted that

experience of other regions and organizations will be given careful considerations in the

formative stages of the Arab Water Council.

An interim Secretariat has been established in Cairo and can be contacted at :

Respect for global conventions, national laws, and traditional and cultural heritage of themain objectives of the Arab Water Council are

For more update information visit our web site, under construction, at :

This piece is taken from the website of the Arab Water Council.

See on-line at:


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