Water Management choices and challenges

The primary challenge for most states in the MENA region has been accepting that sustainable water management entails more than just resource exploitation for purposes of development and modernization. Part of this process has involved moving toward recognition that water resources are limited, and that water policy must focus not only on exploiting current sources and finding new ones, but also on educating water users regarding conservation techniques and demand management. In addition to optimizing human use of water, such awareness and education must encompass the stewardship of so-called "in-stream" water resources. (Maintaining appropriate ecological water flows to sustain important environments—such as marshes and river deltas—is essential to ensuring other collective goods and ecosystem services such as biodiversity, nutrient cycling, groundwater recharge, etc.) Additionally, before being able to effectively implement IWRM policies, many MENA countries had to contend with highly fragmented control over water management, characterized by overlapping responsibilities among different institutions and water-using sectors. Other countries in the region had to surmount the opposite institutional challenges stemming from rigid, over-centralized control of water resources that had become entrenched through decades of rapid economic development and large water infrastructure projects read more in:http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2012/11/iwf%20papers/water%20web.pdf