Water demand management in the MENA regionUploaded: 8 of June, 2017
Our water economics team at REKK contributed to the WATERSUM project ( with consultancy and capacity building activities within the field of water demand management (WDM) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Our activities took place primarily in Jordan and Tunisia, and we used the assistance of local hydrologists and lawyers.

Our work was centered around three main actions:

1) We aimed to enhance the knowledge of decision makers, practitioners, NGOs and other stakeholders with respect to WDM: on the conceptual level as well as in practical terms. Since WDM is inherently an economic concept, while the targeted audience generally consists of non-economists (engineers, biologists, scientists, lawyers etc.) it was important to start training activities with the basic principles of economics, including demand and supply, and gradually develop capacity toward the practical application of the learned concepts. Capacity building events were intentionally designed to be hands-on and interactive with at least half of the sessions centered around games, exercises and case studies to reinforce the concepts learned during the theoretical sessions.

2) As an additional layer of capacity building in WDM, two country specific demonstration case studies were conducted. In Jordan a cost-benefit analysis was carried out at the Wadi Shallalah wastewater treatment plant on the use of treated wastewater for irrigation. In Tunisia a tariff model was created to analyse how price changes at SONEDE, the national drinking water service provider would impact levels of consumption, revenues and costs at the national level and also broken down to various categories of consumers. Both case studies were incorporated into training activities during the project.

3) Finally, 30 good WDM practices were collected and developed into case studies, mainly from the MENA region, but also from outside the region. These case studies serve as practical examples of how sensible WDM measures can be implemented under specific economic, legal and institutional arrangements, and they primarily serve the exchange of information among the countries of the region. At the regional workshop many of the case studies were presented to participants and they triggered intensive exchange on how given measures can be introduced in specific countries, and what additional practices are worth sharing. The good practice cases are available as part of the E-Practicum, but they are also organised into a handbook.