Global Water Governance: A Crucial Priority For Sustainable Development – OpEd


In an era where water scarcity and climate change threaten global stability, the proceedings of the recent high-level event dedicated to “global water governance” underscore one of the most pressing issues of our time. This event aimed to foster a unified global reflection on the critical strategies necessary to improve water resource governance across countries, sharing experiences and efforts to ensure sustainable management and equitable access.

During this crucial discussion, Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water in Morocco, highlighted the urgent need for effective, efficient, and inclusive water governance to address the current challenges facing the global water sector. He noted that in Morocco, the governance of water resources has long been a national priority. The country has focused on establishing and consolidating a framework for integrated, anticipatory, decentralized, and collaborative water management involving public services, water users, elected officials, NGOs, and civil society.

Morocco’s proactive approach is anchored by the enactment of Law 10-95 on water, which emphasized basin-scale management, decentralized and concerted administration through the creation of Hydraulic Basin Agencies, and the promotion of actions to safeguard water quality and ecosystems. This law also institutionalized consultative bodies such as the Superior Council of Water and Climate and the Prefectural and Provincial Water Commissions, ensuring a participatory approach to water governance.

Further cementing its commitment to water security, Morocco introduced the comprehensive Water Law 36-15 in 2016. This law integrates new provisions and mandates the development of strategic plans, including the National Water Plan and Master Plans for Integrated Water Resources Management at the basin level. These plans are designed to outline the national water policy framework and guide the interventions of all stakeholders in the water sector over the next three decades.

Morocco’s model of efficient water resource management is unique and exemplary, contributing actively to international efforts to enhance water governance. Mr. Baraka emphasized that improving water governance globally requires robust, coherent public policies to complete sustainable development projects across all continents and countries.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Baraka stressed that the consolidation of improved governance foundations necessitates integrated public policies targeting measurable objectives within predetermined timelines. Effective governance should operate at the appropriate scale, with a clear division of responsibilities among authorities, and be subject to regular monitoring and evaluation.

The high-level event on global water governance serves as a reminder that water is not just a resource but a vital lifeline that demands our collective action. As countries like Morocco demonstrate, with effective governance and strategic planning, we can safeguard this precious resource for future generations, ensuring sustainable development and global stability.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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