Water Security in the Middle East (Blue Peace)

Progetto concluso

In the Middle East, the increasingly precarious situation of water resources demands stronger regional cooperation than ever before. Set against this background, the Blue Peace approach aims at contributing to peace building through combined political and technical dialogues, which are substantiated in concrete regional projects and direct impact activities on the ground. Together with the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) and local partners from academia, international organisations, civil society and private sector, SDC is able to promote policy and concrete solutions for sustainable development serving those threatened by water scarcity and conflict.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Vicino Oriente
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Formazione professionale
Risorse idriche in agricoltura
Acqua potabile e strutture igieniche elementari (WASH) (til 2016)
Diplomazia e sicurezza dell'acqua
Conservazione delle risorse idriche
Politica del settore idrico
Formazione professionale
01.04.2016 - 31.03.2021
CHF  4’392’137

The Middle East is the most water scarce region in the world with only around 1,200 m3/person/year of available water. Water plays a central role in the region’s conflicts and in defining priorities with regard to the sustainable development agenda. Aggravating this situation, practically all rivers and aquifers straddle two or more different countries – all of which claiming their part. Other important challenges include the need for more sustainable water use, access to more reliable water services (particularly in countries suffering directly and indirectly from conflict), and improved water governance for national and transboundary surface water and groundwater resources.

As water problems in the region and their impacts are often transboundary, regional solutions are required, which can encourage regional cooperation


The overall goal of the program is to enhance regional water management, empowering the broader underpinning for peace in the region.

Gruppi target

PA 1: Primary target group are influential policy makers in the region that are capable of convincing their leaders and governments of the importance of a Cooperation Council.

PA 2-7: Target group ranges from government employees in the water sector, as well as academics, civil society groups, entrepreneurs, media representatives, network members of Syrian refugees and other displaced people in the region. Indirect target groups are the populations threatened by conflicts or water scarcity, and the dare need for access to water and sanitation.

Effetti a medio termine

PA 1 (Cooperation Council): Establishment of a Cooperation Council for Water Resources in the Middle East for Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey by 2018 as inter-governmental body.

PA 2-7: Activities on the ground in the two transboundary basins (Tigris, Yarmouk) support the political tracks (under PA1) and lead to closing the knowledge gap with regard to reliable data about surface and groundwater resources and ensuring efficient water management. Regional capacity building measures will create start-up opportunities for the regional water sector. A training programme for the Blue Peace media network and a new generation of journalists will draw attention to the Blue Peace process and its necessity, and communicate more accurately and effectively about water.


Risultati principali attesi:  

PA 1: Cooperation Council and bilateral tracks. Creation of Cooperation Council by governments; establishment of intergovernmental mechanism between Iraq and Turkey for data harmonisation between designated monitoring stations; improvement of living conditions of poor people in the Palestine due to fast track implementation of water projects on the ground.

PA 2 and 3: Shared basins 1: Tigris. Installation and calibration of monitoring equipment and appropriate data management systems; closing the hydrogeological survey gap of UNESCO ASHRI-II for two border regions; capacities in standard groundwater exploration techniques and best practices’ based data processing and information management.

PA 4 and 5: Shared basins 2: Yarmouk. Public series of images showing changes in water use from 1915 to 2015; data rescuing; at least two articles in highly-cited peer-review journals; two small intervention projects around replacing open irrigation canals; building pools for storage and loss reduction.

PA 6 and 7: Capacity building: Water & Media

A total of 45 start-ups created; existing SMEs empowered; a region-wide network developed; employment opportunities created, about 300 practitioners trained. Comprehensive media training on water developed and continuously provided to over 100 journalists, editors and bloggers. 

PA 8 and 9: Professional support for the entire program (NPO in the field and backstopping of SDC’s headquarters).

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

At a time when the Middle East has been caught up in crisis, the Blue Peace community has emerged as the only soft infrastructure of dialogue. In the framework of the Blue Peace Media network, more than 500 articles, media reports and television programmes have put attention on important water issues in the region and appeared advocating the Blue Peace approach. In a rough estimate, these media activities have reached more than 25 million people in the region.

The process has led to a creation of a political umbrella under which operational projects could made progress on targeting the sharing of hydrological and meteorological data (project of the World Meteorological Organization) and prepare for a coordinated and sustainable management of the Orontes basin.

The Blue Peace concept has spread beyond the Middle East to Central Asia.  

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Instituzione universitaria e di ricerca straniera
ONG internazionale o straniera
Economia privata
Instituzione statale straniera
Organizzazione svizzera senza scopo di lucro
Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite (ONU)
  • Central State of South East
  • Other Academic Research North
  • Altra organizzazione svizzera non profit
  • Settore privato straniero Nord
  • Settore privato straniero Sud/Est
  • Settore privato svizzero
  • SDC Field Office
  • Commissione svizzera per l’UNESCO
  • Strategic Foresight Group (SFG, PA 1), UNESCO office for Iraq (UoI, PA 3), University of East Anglia (UEA, PA 4), Ministry of Water Resources Jordan (MWI, PA 5), Cewas Middle East (PA 7), to be selected through tender procedure (PA 2, PA 6, PA 9).

Altri partner

Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MoAWR) and Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) in Iraq (PA 3), University of Jordan (PA 4), American University Beirut (AUB, PA 7), Arab Country Water Utility Association (ACWUA), to be selected through tender procedure (PA 5).

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

Global Blue Peace, Blue Peace Central Asia.

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    4’392’137 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    4’359’761 Progetto totale dalla prima fase Budget Svizzera CHF   5’938’000 Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF   12’000’000
Fasi del progetto Fase 4 01.02.2019 - 31.12.2022   (Fase in corso)

Fase 3 01.04.2016 - 31.03.2021   (Completed)

Fase 2 01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed) Fase 1 01.10.2010 - 31.12.2013   (Completed)