WWF8: REUSE in the “Africa – Mediterranean – Europe” axis: Territorial Impact and Search for a Common Strategy

Published : Friday 13 April 2018


In the Mediterranean region which gathers European, Arab and also North African Countries, all natural water resources are mostly transboundary resources. Consequently, governance, especially interregional management, is a key-factor to the right to water in the whole region. The risks induced by climate change as well as a certain number of common structural issues (water shortage, uncontrolled urban sprawl along coasts, etc.) raises the issue of fighting against but also adapting to climate change, applying the principles of proximity and solidarity in the region.

Based on shared experiences, IPEMED and its partners organized an inter-regional session on March, 22nd, within the framework of the World Water Forum. This high-level panel wanted to highlight the potentials of an enhanced cooperation between African, Mediterranean and European countries a regards Urban Water Management. As the United Nations World Water Development Report 2017 focused on “Wastewater: An untapped resource”, the objective of the event was indeed to underline the water challenges faced by the local stakeholders, especially as regards access to sanitation.

Introduced by Kelly ROBIN, Project Manager at IPEMED and Eric Tardieu, Director General at the International Office for Water (IOWater), the discussion benefited from the feedback of:

  • Armand Houanye, Executive Secretary of Global Water Partnership - West Africa, who presented the Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) developed in collaboration with African Union and the African Development Bank (AfDB); 
  • Khatim Kherraz, Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, who underlined the differences between Mediterranean Countries facing water scarcity and Sub-Saharan Countries where water resources are available but not fully exploited because of the lack of energy and funding; 
  • Miguel García-Herráiz, Deputy Secretary General, Water and Environment, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) who believe that water scarcity may be a good driver to innovation and to the use of non-conventional resources if several conditions are fulfilled (governance, financing, awareness of the users, etc.); 
  • Ashraf El Sayed, Vice-Chairman of Drainage Institute, National Water Research Center, Egypt who highlighted the success stories of the Arab Region, but also the failures in order to present a pragmatic overview of the context; 
  • Corinne Trommsdorff, Programmes Manager for Cities of the Future, International Water who coordinated the European session on “waste water and energy in cities” and presented the Water-Wise Cities Initiative which aims to strengthen urban water resilience; 
  • Loïc FAUCHON, Honorary President of the World Water Council and President of the Société des Eaux de Marseille, who focused on the transposition of the « Pentalliance » (Five Fingers alliance) to the sanitation and wastewater reuse sector, for the future of generations to come.


Finally, all the panelists called for:

  • More interactions between all the stakeholders, including private sector representatives and local authorities;
  • More interactions between all the sectors by adopting a holistic approach of the REUSE projects;
  • More interactions between all the regions involved in the preparation of the World Water Forum;
  • More cooperation in order to raise citizens and decision-makers’ awareness on this topic.


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