The Bonn Water Network* cordially invites you to its webinar ‘Digging Deeper: How to address groundwater challenges in the Middle East and North Africa?’
On Wednesday March 23, 2022, 05:00-06:30 PM (CET)

This year’s theme for World Water Day is “Groundwater – making the invisible visible”. Although not directly observable with our eyes, groundwater represents the largest share of our global freshwater resources. Especially in many arid and semi-arid areas, where the potential for surface water use has already been exhausted, groundwater has become of strategic importance for domestic use, industry and, above all, irrigated agriculture. In the MENA region, one of the driest regions in the world, the often unregulated extraction of groundwater has led to an alarming depletion of aquifers. In addition, industrial waste and agricultural residues are increasingly entering and polluting groundwater. Inadequate legislation or weak enforcement of existing regulations, as well as insufficient knowledge about extraction and groundwater quality are part of the problem and directly linked to questions of control over and access to groundwater resources. As access to water means access to power; limited availability of and access to fresh water resources in the region mostly affects already marginalised groups and can contribute to power struggles.
This webinar brings together renowned experts in groundwater in the Middle East and North Africa to present their insights on related challenges in the region from different disciplinary perspectives and geographical contexts. The presentations will also address ways forward for ecologically sustainable but also socially inclusive and politically feasible groundwater governance in MENA. After the inputs of the panelists, we will be happy to open the debate for a joint reflection on these challenges.

05:00-5:05 Welcome note, Annabelle Houdret, Speaker, Bonn Water Network, and senior researcher at the German Development Institute

05:05-05:15 State, markets, or communities in groundwater governance: Any clue what could work?
François Molle, Research Director, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)

05:15-05:25 Legal approaches towards transboundary groundwater governance
Raya Marina Stephan, Water law expert, Consultant/Deputy Editor in Chief Water International, International Water Resources Association

05:25-05:35 The complexity of groundwater governance in Jordan
Ines Dombrowsky, Head of Program Environmental Governance, German Development Institute

05:35-05:45 Opportunities and risks of technical solutions for sustainable groundwater management in Morocco
Birgit Kemmerling, Senior Researcher, Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies

05:45-06:25 Q&A, Discussion
06:25-06:30 Annabelle Houdret, Closing Remarks

Please register here