Workshop in Jordan Links IWRM & Climate Change Challenges
A National Workshop on Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate in Jordan took place on October 24 and 25, 2016, in the Dead Sea area of Jordan.The workshop was organised in the framework of the WATER SUM project and gathered national and regional representatives of various technical sectors of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) of Jordan, as well as researchers, professionals and experts dealing with water and climate change issues in other Jordanian institutions.
The workshop provided a great opportunity to exchange visions, share information, and present the practices and needs of different institutions. Participants gained up-to-date theoretical and technological knowledge about the links between drought, climate change and water resources management. The brainstorming, group exercises and lively discussions illustrated how water-related issues can be addressed effectively through the involvement of all relevant parties, stakeholders and the public.
A specific session of Day 1 of the event centred on fostering dialogue and cooperation among existing institutions and on talking about the role of the National Climate Change Committee and how to facilitate its work. Participants split into two groups, each led by a member of the committee, and were asked to discuss how to expand the role and mandate of the committee and how to facilitate the flow of data and processed information between committee members. One point on which most of the participants agreed was the need for the committee to become more inclusive and for its membership to include representatives of civil society and the business sector, for example.
Day two of the workshop introduced tools, instruments and case studies on monitoring and detecting climate change impacts in the MENA region, as well as other areas with similarly diverse hydrometeorological and climatic conditions. Thanks to the hands-on approach of this session, participants learned how to use the Flood and Drought Portal (www.flooddroughtmonitor.com/map) to facilitate the inclusion of information about droughts and future scenarios into integrated water resources management (IWRM) planning, water safety planning (WSP), transboundary diagnostic analyses (TDA) and strategic action plans (SAP).
Take-home messages from the National Workshop on Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate in Jordan:
- The monitoring of processes is crucial, and the setting of monitoring objectives and methods is particularly important.
- Preparedness is crucial in order to be able to reduce the cost of potential drought damage.
- Structured and timely planning and the execution of interventions need to be supported by a drought forecast and monitoring system.
- Watershed-level thinking is crucial when dealing with water management systems. Surface water and groundwater processes are equally important, and it is essential to be aware of the quantitative and qualitative processes within watershed and inter-basin transfer relations.
- Watershed-level or territorial water management councils should be established, the members of which should include representatives of quantitative and qualitative processes related to natural water, and these councils should work towards objective, defined targets at watershed level.
- Watershed-based water management plans need to be established.
- The institutional set-up for dealing with challenges driven by climate change should be revised.
- There is a huge need for good examples to be implemented, well documented and disseminated to the public.
- Wider communication platforms, both inter-institutional and geared towards the public, are essential for efficient resilience and adaptation building.
- The combined use of national knowledge and international experiences can lead to effective and smart climate change mitigation solutions.