In November 2011 a new project for protecting groundwater in the Mediterranean Basin was established. For the new project, FoEME is teaming up the province of Malaga, Spain in order to promote sustainable groundwater resources in the Mediterranean Basin. The project is funded by the European Commission’s ENPI (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument).
The project aims to improve the technical and administrative skills in selected Mediterranean Basin municipalities in order to alleviate groundwater pollution. It aims also to enhance cooperation across Mediterranean Basin municipalities to protect the common natural heritage. The collaborative network of Mediterranean Basin municipal staff can share knowledge and experiences on the protection and management of natural groundwater resources.
In many parts of the Mediterranean region there is an urgent need for the development of practical “Ground Water”. To know more about FoEME‘s groundwater projects read our about our former Pro-Aquifer project and our studies of the Mountain Aquifer. Communities in the Jordan Valley lack the necessary sewage treatment facilities and suffer from contaminants from cesspits. Malaga in southern Spain struggles with huge discharges of waste water from both industry (e. g. animal farming) and agricultural sewage into the ground water aquifer.
For many years, FoEME has been developing experience and best practices related to ground water issues. This knowledge is fundamental to the success of this project. A problem that faces FoEME is the lack of awareness and the capacity to deal with the sources of pollution to groundwater. To address this need, FoEME and the project partners will set up a collaborative training program for municipal staff from selected Mediterranean Basin municipalities. Important outputs from the project will be risk maps for each community that will be discussed with all project partners in two conferences by the end of project.
In the upcoming weeks the project partners and the municipal staff from the selected Mediterranean communities will come together and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU will include the establishment of building capacity programs in technical skills for municipal staff. This will be the foundation stone for all future work on the new groundwater project.
This post was written by FoEME intern Lena Siedentopp. Lena is based in FoEME´s Bethlehem office.