International Symposium on Sustainable Water
Management in Arid and Semiarid Regions
Initiative number: 94D - 19
Initiative duration: 1 year
Start date: 1 May 1994
End date: 30 April 1995
Israel Eliashiv (PD), Ambassador, Permanent Mission
of Israel to the United Nations, 800 Second Avenue, New York NY 10017
FINAL REPORT ABSTRACT:
Symposium participants included program directors of water and waste
water facilities, irrigation districts, tourism departments and other
governmental activities related to water functions from Africa, Mexico,
China, Japan, Turkey and Thailand; representing a total of 30 nations.
The symposium was sponsored by the Government of Japan, The United Nations
Development Programme, and the International Arid Lands Consortium.
Mr. Shimon Peres opened the symposium with an address stressing the fundamental
importance of water in arid and semi-arid lands world wide to peace and
prosperity. He placed particular emphasis on the relationship of water
and land management in the Middle East to peace and the ability to move
beyond the economic and political barriers that discourage peace at this
time in the region.
The ensuing program included three days of presentations, including two
round table discussions, by Israeli and U.S. scientists on irrigation
with fresh and saline water, appropriate irrigation technology, rainfed
agriculture, use of sewage effluents, groundwater protection and management,
and legal aspects of water management. The purpose of the symposium was
to deliberate the topics listed, identify relevant issues and develop
recommendations and strategies in three general areas:
- Policy and strategy for integrated management of land and water resources,
- Research and development for improving water use efficiency, and
- National capacity building for integrated management of land and water
Working groups were formed to develop the recommendations and strategies
as a capstone activity following the presentation of papers and discussion
of issues during the previous days of the symposium.
At the beginning of the conference each participant was asked to list
and prioritize the five most important water issues in their country.
A list of priorities was compiled and distributed to the participants.
Follow-on actions include the publication of a proceedings. Suggested
actions include the formation of a steering committee to define and suggest
continuing actions to maintain the momentum established by the symposium
and the development and the compilation and publication of a global directory
of current water development initiatives to serve as an information resource
to guide future planning and prioritization of suggested programs.
Support for this initiative came from the USDA Forest Service and the
USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.