(The News N° 17 - February 2010)
MELIA (Mediterranean Dialogue on Integrated Water Management) is a program supported by the European Union within its 6th FPRD.
Started in 2006 for 4 years, it gathers 45 partners (Public Authorities, International Organizations, NGOs, Universities, etc.) from 16 Member and non-Member States of the European Union.
The project aims at evaluating the methods for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the Mediterranean countries, using the regulations of the European Water Framework Directive as working framework.
Within ”the Mediterranean Water Policies” topic, led by IOWater, the project allowed identifying the main problems in the region : pricing policies, groundwater management, water scarcity or development of non-conventional water resources…
IOWater then identified good practices and exemplary experiments. They were summarized in the document : “conceptual analysis of the water policies in the Mediterranean area”.
MELIA will lead to the formulation of recommendations to support the application of the principles of the Water Framework Directive in the Mediterranean area.
The MELIA Project (Mediterranean Dialogue for Integrated Water Management) is a coordinated INCO-Med action financed by the European Union.
Led by CSIC, Spain, it gathers 45 organizations from 16 Member and non-Member States of the European Union. The gathering of bodies of different nature (public authorities, international organizations, NGOs, universities, etc.) is a fundamental feature of this project. It started in September 2006 and will be completed in 2010.
MELIA aims at evaluating the methods for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the Mediterranean countries, using the regulations of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) to harmonize water policies in the Mediterranean basin.
Its objectives are to :
* build a knowledge base for planning IWRM, based on the integration of the widest possible contributions ;
* develop awareness on social (cultural and participative), economic and technical issues related to water management on the Mediterranean scale ;
* propose participation mechanisms and prevention tools to avoid competition for the allocation of the resource between the regions and the various water users ;
* support sustainable water policies ; provide the institutions with criteria accepted by a broad representation of the social, economic, scientific and political stakeholders of the various countries ;
* provide indicators to implement benchmarking of IWRM in the Mediterranean region ;
* facilitate the development of a common language to contribute to water-related negotiations.
In the MELIA project, the International Office for Water leads the "Water Policy" working group, which aims at analyzing the water policies of the various countries represented in the project, using a common conceptual framework.
This means identifying the main factors which direct and condition the development and implementation of these policies (conditions of resource scarcity, sustainable -or non sustainable- development approaches, etc.), how they are effectively applied, and improving dialogue between decision makers, lawyers and researchers in order to improve the water policies by basing them on the example provided by the WFD, but by paying special attention to the limits of using the WFD or its principles in the Mediterranean countries.
The MELIA Project has a website at the address : http://www.meliaproject.eu/