WWC announces promotion of International Observatory on Unconventional Water and Energy Resources
In Cairo, Loic Fauchon and the World Water Council restate publicly their availability for hydrodiplomacy efforts and announce the creation of an International Observatory on Unconventional Water and Energy Resources.
"Hydrodiplomacy (…) is supported and proposed within the Family of Water (…) and it is often a success to avoid conflicts and disputes that might later appear at State levels", World Water Council President Loïc Fauchon said, adding that "the World Water Council is fully available to bring its contribution (…) for a renewed dialogue between the neighboring communities of the river Nile.”
The World Water Council wishes to bring "dialogue, always dialogue and again more dialogue" to the discussions between neighboring States on a fair and equitable sharing of common resources, at a time when tensions are exacerbated by the filling phase of the Grand Renaissance Dam in the Ethiopian part of the Nile.
On the previous day, during the Opening Ceremony of Cairo Water Week in the presence of the Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly, and the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, Mohamed Abdel Aty, Loic Fauchon announced that the Council is ready to promote an International Observatory on Unconventional Water and Energy Resources.
He underlined that alternative and unconventional resources such as desalination of sea water and of salted aquifers, as well as wastewater reuse are efficient and renewable solutions, which will need to be applied worldwide in response to demographic pressure.
World Water Council members were also mobilized during Cairo Water Week: African members organized a dedicated meeting to present the 9th World Water Forum, which will be held in Dakar in 2021.
On Sunday 20 October, President Fauchon brought together more than thirty Egyptian Council members for a fruitful meeting. Loic Fauchon also engaged in bilateral meetings to reinforce the Council’s political reach.
Opening of Cairo Water Week, Sunday 20 October, in the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly of Egypt, and of the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, Mohamed Abdel Aty
Presentation of the 9th World Water Forum “Water Security for Peace and Development”- which will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2021 - during Cairo Water Week, 21 October
Mazen Ghoneim, Head of the Palestinian Water Authority addresses the World Water Council’s Board of Governors in Cairo to present his country’s application to World Water Council membership, 22 October
Minister of Water and Sanitation of Kenya Simon Chelegui announces the organization of the next regional conference “On the Road to Dakar” which will be held from 27-30 April 2020 in Nairobi, World Water Council’s 70th Board of Governors meeting in Cairo, 22 October
Meeting of World Water Council Egyptian members, Cairo, 20 October
Cairo Water Week: World Water Council takes on role of whistleblower, solution provider and mediator
Marrakesh, Morocco, 1 October 2019 – “Very often, water suffers bad treatment. Why is this? All of you here know!” World Water Council President Loïc Fauchon said at the Opening Ceremony of the International Summit on Water Security, in the presence of 300 participants from 65 countries.
“Because demography is growing and the world’s population is more and more concentrated within cities, especially megacities with its trail of poverty and frightening pollution,” he continued.
He then urged for dignity and trust: “The right to water is the cornerstone for securing access to water for all and provides the strongest connection to global water security.”
|Aziza Akhmouch: According to you, what are the priority improvements to tackle droughts and floods and ensure water security for all?|
Loïc Fauchon: It is crucial that funding agencies are made aware of the importance of the maintenance and that long-term financing mechanisms are implemented.
There are also exceptional circumstances such as water-related crises or disasters. I myself am part of a panel of about ten people, which was created by the United Nations Secretary-General, to make recommendations on water-related disasters. We can identify three situations: prevention, evaluation, and response.
In recent years, we have made considerable progress in risk prevention. I would like to give an example that took place not far from here. Some twenty years ago, the Ourika Valley suffered a terrible disaster when a hundred children and young people were washed away by an Ourika flash flood. At the time, there was no warning system. Today, warning loudspeakers have been installed for the first time in the same place where the flooding occurred. Whether because of lack of water or excess thereof, we need to simultaneously push organizations, funding agencies, and states into setting up prevention systems, which is already the case in Asia but not so much in Africa.
Evaluation and response are coordination issues. These are crucial topics. When disasters –especially floods - occur, hundreds of emergency task forces are sent on the field without any inspection, situation assessment, or coordination. The High-level Experts and Leaders Panel [on Water and Disasters], under the authority of the United Nation and UN-Water, formulates recommendations so that when disasters strike, authorities at both regional and national levels, as well as NGOs, follow specific rules.
|Aziza Akhmouch: Beyond infrastructure, what modern technologies are necessary to speed up the process of securing water?|
Loïc Fauchon: By using the word “technology”, engineers tend to systematically propose limited technical solutions. Although today, to speed-up the water security process, we need to rely on the three pillars which are included in the ‘house of water’:
1. Shared knowledge - instead of transferred knowledge. Today, there is as much to gain in learning from the South as there is in delivering from the North.
On the sidelines of the Summit, Loïc Fauchon met political representatives to explore avenues of collaboration to achieve water security, including:
Adriana Petcu, Secretary of State of Rumania, Tuesday 1 October Papa Koly Kourouma, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation of Guinea, Wednesday 2 October
Papa Koly Kourouma, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation of Guinea, Wednesday 2 October
Joseph Mizzi, Minister of Energy and Water Management of Malta, Tuesday 1 October
An Pich Hatda, CEO of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Wednesday 2 October
Simon Chelugui, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation of Kenya, Wednesday 2 October