As the National Facilitator of the USAID funded project “Groundwater Governance in the Arab World: Taking Stock and Addressing the Challenges”, RCED organized two workshops during February 21-22, 2017 in Beirut and Bekaa to present and discuss with stockholders and decision makers the findings and the proposed policy white paper generated by the project for groundwater governance in Lebanon. Workshop I, Beirut, Feb. 21st 2017, targeted officials and decision makers from the Ministry of Energy and Water, Bekaa Water Establishment and the Litani River Authority. Whereas workshop II, Bekaa, Feb. 22nd 2017, was oriented towards local stakeholders including municipality members, Water User Associations and farming communities.
During both interactive workshops I and II, the research team of the project led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) presented and discussed the “Case of Central Bekaa, A Policy White Paper”. On the behalf of the BAU President, Prof. Amer Galal Adawi, and BAU family, Prof. Adel El Kordi, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, addressed the participants and research team with a warm welcome and acknowledgment for the efforts and importance of project’s findings for the management of one of the most national pressing challenges of Lebanon. He emphasized that BAU has followed a dedicated path to provide quality educational outcomes that contribute to water management and governance in Lebanon through qualified civil and environmental engineers. Dr. Safaa, Director of RCED, added that this project which is part of the regional project that includes Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, UAE and Oman aims to identify the required actions to achieve good ground governance in Bekaa which is suffering from excessive pumping illegal pumping and that the workshop maybe viewed as a platform for dialogue and knowledge exchange in the field of groundwater governance at the national level. The valuable participation of managers and donors of international water projects in Bekaa including USAID Lebanon Water Project, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Solidarite – Eau, France, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), German Organization for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) allowed and facilitated knowledge sharing and building links for potential future collaboration. Through his intervention Prof. Jamal Al Khatib, Faculty of Engineering, BAU, stressed on the urgency of developing and implementing integrated water management plans to combat the severe challenges water sector is facing due to climate change and pressures of Syrian refugees.