Capacity Building Support for National Water Sector

UNESCO & EU launching the second module of Capacity Building Support for the National Water Sector of Iraq

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.

Implemented by UNESCO Office for Iraq, with the main collaboration of the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad (MoWR) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MoAWR) of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the project now focuses on skills advancement and tailored On-the-Job-Training of water sector staff on standard operating procedures, geo-scientific data collection and processing, mapping, surveying and prognostic scenario analysis underscoring the overall sustainability of technical assistance provided for the empowerment of the water sector administration.

"We are proud that ASHRI-2 has provided Iraq with a great wealth of new groundwater data and modern information management tools, forming the geo-scientific backbone for a comprehensive management system on national groundwater resources in Iraq", said the Advisor to the Minister and Director-General at the MoWR in Baghdad, Mr. Dhafer Abdullah Hussain.

"The newly provided data on groundwater resources, and technical capacities developed in sustainable groundwater management, strongly support our efforts to cope with a progressively increasing pressure and stress on scarce and thus precious national water resources, being impacted by steadily growing sector demand, and water allocations safeguarding basic services' delivery within the context of IDPs and the prevailing humanitarian crisis in our region", stated the General Director of Water Resources, MoAWR, KRG, Mr. Mohammad Amin Faris.

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