UNESCO & EU launching the second module of Capacity Building Support for the National Water Sector of Iraq [EN/AR]

UNESCO & EU launching the second module of Capacity Building Support for the National Water Sector of Iraq [EN/AR].
Erbil,10 April 2017- In the framework of joint efforts towards supporting the Iraqi government in overcoming the devastating impact of water shortage, UNESCO and the European Union (EU) have initiated the Capacity Building project component under phase II of the water sector flagship-intervention "Advanced Survey of Hydrogeological Resources in Iraq" (ASHRI-2), a pioneering initiative aiming to improve national capacities in the exploration, administration and integrated management of groundwater resources, and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public planning, as well as informed policy making in the National Water Sector.
Since its launch in November 2013, ASHRI-2 has delivered critical data, information and knowledge management tools on the groundwater conditions in Iraq.
Based on internationally applied Best Practices, ASHRI-2 has deployed state-of-the-art methodologies and techniques in geo-scientific assessment, cartography and IT-based documentation supporting strategic groundwater resources’ management.
"Acquiring a full understanding of the water shortage in Iraq is the first step towards effectively addressing its deep social and economic impacts", stated the Director of UNESCO Iraq Office, Louise Haxthausen.
Adhering to internationally recognized and applied best practices, the project will substantially contribute to informed decision-making, and thus sustainable use of national groundwater resources.
At the same time, the outcome of ASHRI-2 can be key to open doors for trans-boundary management of shared water resources to address water governance, adaptive capacity towards climate change induced water scarcity ", added Mrs. Haxthausen.
EU Ambassador to Iraq Patrick Simonnet, said: "this project illustrates very well the importance of effectively managing water resources in Iraq.
Water is key in this region, and we should not lose track of its future, ensuring a sound and sustainable management of water and land resources.
We are confident that UNESCO, in cooperation with the Iraqi authorities, will bridge the gaps at this critical time and provide all the necessary tools to face the challenges of water shortages – not only for Iraq, but beyond.” Through a EU contribution of five million Euros, "ASHRI-2" has validated and updated essential data and information on Iraq’s groundwater resources, improving the government’s management capabilities in this field.