European Union and Iraq Sign an Agreement to Improve Water Management in Iraq
The European Union and the Government of Iraq signed today a cooperation agreement to improve water management capabilities in Iraq, during a ceremony in Baghdad in the presence of H.E. Prof. Dr Ali Y. Al-Shukri, Minister of Planning, and H.E. Ms. Jana Hybaskova, Ambassador, European Union Delegation to the Republic of Iraq.
"This program marks a new chapter in the EU-Iraq cooperation. The European people are committed to assist the Iraqi people in their quest for quality basic services" explained Ms. Hybaskova. This programme aims to support the Iraqi Water Management authorities to become more effective, and to raise the standard of public water services. It will in particular focus on supporting integrated ground water management, water quality monitoring and water education.
This programme is targeting the entire population. Water wastage cannot be accepted and the public must be sensitised on how to best use this precious source. In addition, the 4 million Iraqis will benefit from an improved water quality monitoring. A thorough analysis of the Iraqi groundwater resources is also expected to be of benefit for millions of Iraqis.
More than 100 government officials will be trained and advised in modern water management methodologies and techniques in the context of the program. State of the art equipment will be installed and operated in order to test the quality of water in urban centres of at least 10 provinces. A survey will be concluded to determine the location and formation of the aquifers in Iraq as well as to provide recommendation for the best usage of those resources. Finally, 18 public awareness units across the country are to be set up to develop and conduct public awareness campaigns to prevent wastage and educate young and old how to carefully use the precious good water.
This agreement marks a new chapter in development cooperation between the EU and Iraq. It is the first under the EU-Iraq Country Strategy Paper and it is the first program between the EU and Iraq with a financial contribution from the Government of Iraq. This reflects the common identification of priorities and deepened partnership with the Government of Iraq. European best practices will help Iraq to achieve progress in the field of water management. The European Union is helping Iraq to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the management of water resources for the welfare of the Iraqi people.
Government authorities will gain full responsibility and ownership of the programme in the spirit of partnership and sustainability. The selection of areas for EU support under this agreement stems from thorough discussions held with Iraqi authorities and in accordance with the priorities put forward by the Government of Iraq and its international partners. The three main components of the programme are:
Component 1: To enhance capacities for integrated groundwater resources management; around 7 billion Iraqi dinars (€ 5 million) financed by the EU and is matched by a 7 billion Iraqi dinars (€ 5 million) contribution from the Government of Iraq – to conduct with the Iraqi authorities a thorough survey on groundwater resources and use this knowledge for planning and share it with the academia.
Component 2: To develop a Water supply monitoring system around 10 billion Iraqi dinars (€ 7 million) financed by the EU - to establish a monitoring plan covering water supply system in selected cities and install a central Geographic Information System (GIS) data for monitoring results in each governorate as well as (3) the installation of automatic gauging stations for measuring real time water quality parameters.
Component 3: To improve public awareness on water related issues around 5.3 billion Iraqi dinars (€ 3.7 million) financed by the EU – to spread the messages on effective water conservation, water handling at the household level, water harvesting, the importance of the re-use of water as well as hygiene practices and pilot projects on environmentally sustainable solutions to water supply and consumption.
The EU is funding this programme to reinforce the capacities of national and regional authorities to manage water resources and to raise public awareness that water is becoming a scarce resource. In addition to the financial contribution, the Government will ensure political commitment and provide inkind contribution, including the provision of facilities, staff, the distribution of communication material, etc.
With this programme the EU's contribution to the development of Iraq has almost reached (more than 1.5 trillion Iraqi dinars) (more than € 1 Billion) since 2003. The EU remains committed to supporting Iraq in the coming years.
For more information:
Mr. Anton STEMBERGER
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Iraq
Tel: + 962 6 4607000 - ext. 149
Fax: + 962 6 4607001 e-mail: email@example.com http://delirq.ec.europa.eu