Dec 20, 2010

SIWI and Arab Countries Water Utilities Assn. Sign Cooperation Agreement

Organizations will collaborate to bring attention to water issues in the Arab world

The Stockholm Intl. Water Institute (SIWI) and the Arab Countries Water Utilities Assn. (ACUWA) signed an agreement of cooperation to build linkages between World Water Week in Stockholm and Arab Water Week, currently held in Amman, Jordan.
SIWI is a policy institute and think-tank based in Stockholm that works to find sustainable solutions to the world’s escalating water crisis. SIWI administrates a number of policy and research projects related to the MENA region and organizes the annual World Water Week.
ACWUA arranges the bi-annual Arab Water Week to work on finding solutions to some of the region’s water shortcomings through cross-sector, pan-Arab cooperation.
Both organizations signed a cooperation agreement at Arab Water Week. The agreement entails several proposed areas for cooperation, providing a foundation for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between both weeks through communications and marketing, capacity building and technical assistance.
Endorsing the agreement on SIWI’s part, Executive Director Anders Berntell, said that it is important for SIWI, as the organizer of World Water Week, to be engaged in regional meetings. SIWI already has agreements of cooperation with World Ocean Week in Xiamen, China, and Africa Water Week.
"The World Water Week in Stockholm synthesizes knowledge from different regions around the world, assesses progress, builds capacities and establishes a global network to push water up on the global agenda. Therefore it is important for us to be engaged in regional water conferences," Berntell said. "SIWI already facilitates projects, research and capacity building in the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, the Jordan River basins. We look forward to reaching even more parts of the MENA region in the future."
For its part, ACWUA said the agreement with World Water Week will help place Arab water issues and ambitions on the global agenda. ACWUA will present the solutions of Arab Water Week at the 2011 World Water Week, taking place Aug. 21 to 27.
Endorsing the agreement, ACWUA Chairperson Engineer Nadia Abdou, said the first Arab Water Week is an excellent opportunity for international organizations to gain up-to-date knowledge on the water ambitions in the Arab world.
The Middle East and North Africa region is one of the driest in the world, with significant water resource challenges, making it vulnerable to climate and demographic changes, especially at the current development speed.
Sweden’s Ambassador in Amman, Charlotta Sparre signed an agreement with ACWUA during Arab Water Week to facilitate funding from the Swedish Intl. Development Agency in support of different ACWUA activities, including the organization’s planned participation at the 2011 World Water Week and other joint activities with SIWI.