World Water Day is celebrated on March 22nd and this year its theme is “Leave no one behind”. The event is an opportunity for FEMISE and its partners to take stock of the situation in the Mediterranean, where the water problem has become a crucial issue.
“The Mediterranean represents only 7% of the world population and yet it is home to more than 60% of the so-called water-poor population”, a striking information relayed by Céline Dubreuil, Programme Manager at Plan Bleu, one of the Regional Activity Centres of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Some 28 million Mediterranean people still do not have access to sanitation, the researcher adds, and 18 million do not have access to drinking water.
As Constantin Tsakas, General Secretary of the FEMISE network, points out, “the water issue is becoming increasingly important” in the region, “the balance between water demand and availability has reached a particularly critical level!”
FEMISE and its partners have worked with Euromed journalists ECOMNewsMed who produced a video documentary in order to raise awareness on this issue.
FEMISE and its partners are also working to provide solutions to the issue. According to Karine Moukaddem, researcher at FEMISE, “we must find sustainable, less costly and more effective solutions. This is what the Union for the Mediterranean is trying to do, for example, with its platform for cooperation on water resources”.
For his part, Stéphane Pouffary underlines the importance of an inclusive multi-actor approach, which Energies 2050 supports, to build bridges between different actors in order to duplicate projects and bring out concrete arguments.
Researchers from the FEMISE network and its partners ensure that new irrigation approaches are to be explored, better waste management and increased awareness efforts are needed.