The Mediterranean Water Institute (IME), AVITEM, and MedCities organized an event dedicated to Mediterranean local authorities and the role they play in integrated water management in a context of climate change and water stress. The seminar aims to prepare the next 10th World Water Forum, which will take place in Bali from the 18th to 25th May, bringing forward a political declaration from Mediterranean cities.

The conference began with the welcoming and encouraging words of Mr. Christophe Madrolle, Regional Councillor of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, representing Mr. President R. Muselier, a message from Mr. Ambassador Karim Amellal, Délégué interministériel à la Méditerranée and Mrs. Agnès Rampal, Vice-President of Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur, Deputy Mayor of Nice and President of AVITEM who sat the scene on the global and Mediterranean challenges and the importance of local and regional authorities as key stakeholders in water management.

There was also time to hear the introductions and perspectives from Mr.Alain Meyssonnier, Chairman of the IME presentes the World Water Forum and its organization and the conclusions of the Tunis Mediterranean Forum , including the messages to present in the world forum. The two following round tables gave an array of what municipalities and regional governments in the Mediterranean are doing to support water sobriety and reduction of water demand and promote a multilevel governance of water stakeholders, citizen sensitisation, the valorisation of alternative sources of water, including regenerated water and rainwater reuse, as well as a water sensitive urban management and territorial planning. The following MedCities members were present and active in the discussions: the Barcelona City Council (through its Water Agency, BCASA) , the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, the Montpellier Metropolis and the city of  Marseille.

In this discussion, Mrs. Clare Hart, Vice-president from Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole and President of MedCities, represented the association in this meeting. Mrs. Hart underlined the work of MedCities on water management , focusing on integrated water cycle planning, and the support for demand management. The association considers water as an ecosystem resource and not just an economic asset. Some of the examples:

– ValEUr Gabès project: Plan for the development of non-conventional water resources in Gabès in which we work the process of mobilizing stakeholders led by the municipality, with the participation of public authorities, civil society, economic operators (major water users), and research. A non-conventional water resources plan was produced to prioritise interventions around seven concrete axes and a pilot on the establishment of urban retention and infiltration basins was done. Furthermore, the project promoted the concept of green mosques through feasibility studies for the reuse of ablution water.

– HERA / NATUREMED: Jerash/Bethlehem/Saida: working through the multifunctionality of nature-based solutions to address climate change, and improve green infrastructure while reducing water pressure; bilateral cooperation between Barcelona City Hall, which apart from financing provides technical expertise, and the three town halls. The MedCities secretariat, supported this sharing of their members’ experiences, criteria, and approaches, in a logic of capacity-building through learning by doing.

– WEFE4MED: community of practice around the WEFE (water-energy-food-ecosystems) concept; strengthening the capacities of local authorities for the application of water energy ecosystem solutions in a logic of multifunctionality and maximization of impact.

Mrs. Hart stressed the urgent need for cities to address this topic now more than ever; not only due to the water scarcity and drought in the Mediterranean region but also because local authorities should be able to manage their own resources:

«In the city of Montpellier as in the MedCities network, we always work on projects with an integrated approach to water management.»

“We put into practice everything we know and know about water within MedCities and other cities connected to Montpelllier. Decentralized cooperation is key”

«Water projects in which MedCities and Montpellier work emphasizes its sustainability and the green economy and with a strong point in favor of citizen awareness and water demand reduction«.

Based on the morning’s discussions, MedCities moderated an online discussion in the afternoon session aiming to identify commitments and priority axes from the local authorities in terms of short- and long-term planning, local and regional solidarity, local water governance, and the economic model within adaptation policies, among other relevant aspects.

The results of these workshops will be the basis of a joint document to be taken to the 10th Water Forum in Bali in May 2024.

¿Quieres estar al día de los
proyectos de MedCities?

Suscríbete a nuestro boletín mensual para recibir todas las noticias.