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INECO : INstitutional and ECOnomic instruments for sustainable water management in the Mediterranean region

Published February 2010


Analyses and proposals for better water management

(The News N° 17 - February 2010)

The INECO Project (INstitutional and ECOnomic Instruments for Sustai - nable Water Management in the Mediterranean Region) was completed by a feedback conference in June 2009 in Nicosia (Cyprus).

IOWater carried out an inventory of the best practices and institutional and economic instruments, then sought to see how to adapt them to the Southern Mediterranean countries. It then organized national workshops to analyze the water-related problems and summarized their results.
INECO allowed developing very thorough case studies on the problems of water resources management in different situations:


  • Tunisia: groundwater and salinization;
  • Cyprus: depletion of an aquifer and sea water intrusion;
  • Egypt: water quality in the area of the Bahr Basandeila canal;
  • Lebanon: the Damour River Basin;
  • Syria: pollution in the Barada River Basin (Greater Damascus Area);
  • Morocco: the Oum er Rbia River Basin;
  • Algeria: the Seybouse River Basin.


In each case, a detailed analysis was made of the problems. Various solutions were conceived and studied in order to determine their feasibility or adaptability to the local situation.

A toolbox was developed so that the methodology used in the INECO project (Web Tool, details of the methodology used…) can be transferred to stakeholders in areas facing similar problems. Various publications are now planned for this work to be used.

INstitutional and ECOnomic instruments for sustainable water management in the Mediterranean region

(The News N° 16 - December 2008)


INECO, "Institutional and Economic Instruments for sustainable water management in the Mediterranean Region" is a coordinated project, supported by the European Commission (6th RDFP), with specific measures for international cooperation (INCO Program) with the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs).

INECO gathers 14 institutions from 10 Mediterranean countries (Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria and Morocco), including public, private and international organizations. The project, which extends over 3 years, began on 1st July 2006 and will be completed in June 2009.

It is led by the Chemical Engineering School of the National Technical University of Athens (Greece).

It aims at presenting an interdisciplinary approach to water management, which integrates three main aspects: environment, economy and society.

INECO deals with the various problems encountered in the decision-making process and with the deficiencies of the current governance structures in the Mediterranean Basin. Research focuses on the alternative institutional and economic instruments which allow promoting equity, economic effectiveness and environmental sustainability in water resources management.

The main goal of INECO is to develop the stakeholders’ skills and constructive commitments in water resources planning, by meeting three challenges:
* Water sharing, referring to the institutional, regulatory, legislative and economic mechanisms created for allocating water resources in the basin.
* Giving a value to water, which refers to assessing the cost of water use, maximizing economic effectiveness, implementing the cost recovery principle for sustainable management of water utilities, and implementing the "user-pays" and "recipient-pays" principles.
* Improving water governance, referring to the institutional environment, which allows the implementation of IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management).

IOWater more particularly deals with:

- the analysis of the current practices used by developed countries in arid zones, other than EU Member States,

- the role of women in Integrated Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean countries,

- the organization of workshops and exchange activities.

INECO is a "social experiment" for developing skills and political structures. INECO aims at providing experience and enabling local societies to change their perceptions and, consequently, their water management practices and at providing complete and adaptable recommendations.

See online : http://environ.chemeng.ntua.gr/inec...