Watersecurity MENA

Watersecurity MENA

Freshwater scarcity

Input for a MENA Regional Water Security Assessment

Commissioned by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Deltares did extensive research on groundwater resources in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2016. This research contributed to a MENA Regional Water Security Assessment for the World Bank.

Using the PCR-GLOBWB model developed by Utrecht University, Deltares calculated two indicators of groundwater-related risks and their implications for some socio-economic aspects. The two indicators assessed are groundwater stress and groundwater level decline per province between 1990 and 2010. These results were combined with data about gross domestic product (GDP), population, and percentage of irrigated agriculture from groundwater to quantify the impact of groundwater scarcity on each of these socio-economic aspects.

Watersecurity MENA

With this project Deltares shows that we have the capacity and knowledge to work with large datasets and model results to produce meaningful output figures and provide clients with a sound analysis of the results.

The research for the MENA Regional Water Security Assessment done by Deltares provides its clients with a series of interesting trends; these highlight areas of current or future concern. For example, many provinces in Iran are exposed to high and extremely high levels of groundwater stress, the groundwater table is declining at a fast pace, they have a high GDP, and a high population density. In this case, GDP per capita affected by groundwater stress is not as high as in countries such as Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These Gulf States are also exposed to high and extremely high levels of groundwater stress, but their GDP is very high compared to a relatively small number of inhabitants. It can therefore be deduced that groundwater scarcity is likely to have significant impact on GDP per capita in the region in the future; if it hasn’t already.

Watersecurity MENA

On the basis of such data, regional and international leaders can draw conclusions about which areas will be hardest hit by groundwater stress, both now and in the future, and where they should concentrate their mitigation efforts to reduce the consequences.

This project demonstrated our added value in Water Resources Assessments to relevant international organizations such as the World Resources Institute or the World Bank.
Marta Faneca Sànchez
Deltares Expert Groundwater management
WRI is pleased to have a continued, positive relationship with Deltares so that we can provide our clients with leading edge knowledge and solutions regarding water resources issues.
Charles Iceland
Aqueduct Director, World Resources Institute

For this project Deltares has collaborated with the following partners:

  • World Resources Institute

Want to know more about this project?

Marta Faneca Sànchez
Expert Groundwater management
  • +31 (0)88 335 71 65