Tackling water issues in the Mediterranean basin

In the Mediterranean, water is an endangered collective resource since the region hosts nearly 60% of the world’s population who does not have much access to water, that is to say having access to 1,000m3 of water/inhabitant/year. Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMC), characterised by a structural water stress situation, face increasing anthropogenic pressure. Water demand in these countries currently amounts to 300km3/year and should increase by 20% by 2025, many challenges must therefore be taken up:
- better access to drinking water and its quality;
- better efficiency in water uses;
- (domestic and industrial) sewage water collection and treatment;
- fight against diffuse pollution (80% of marine pollutions come from land pollution);
- adapting water resources management to climate change impacts, etc.

These challenges, as well as the geographical characteristics of the region, gathering countries facing the same issues within a basin, call for an increased cooperation between all the concerned States and actors. Therefore, the reflections initiated by IPEMED show the necessity of an integrated management of water demand and resources, and of a more efficient and comprehensive water governance in the Mediterranean.