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News Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and US Government signed $27,5 million memoranda of understanding for assistance to water sector

On June 15, 2010 the U.S. government and the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water signed two memoranda of understanding to provide in-kind assistance and capacity building support for Lebanon’s water sector. With funding made available through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in close coordination with the Ministry of Energy and Water, the International Resources Group (IRG) will support the Litani River Authority (LRA) and Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) as they develop Lebanon’s four water establishments attain financial and operational sustainability.

Under the $8 million Litani River Basin Management Support program, IRG will provide technical assistance and training, implement limited-scale infrastructure activities, and procure specialized equipment for the LRA. The program will assist the Litani River Authority into transform into a river basin agency.

Under USAID’s $19.5 million, Lebanon Water and Wastewater Sector Support program, DAI will improve the management, operations and services of Lebanon’s water establishments. The program will introduce new areas of assistance in staff capacity building and capital investment planning; invest in infrastructure and equipment; and work on harmonizing the water establishment’s national strategic water and wastewater master plan.

Speaking at the signing event, Ambassador Sison expressed her appreciation for the efforts of the Ministry of Energy and Water to improve the water sector in Lebanon. Ambassador Sison said, “It is our sincere belief that the ongoing cooperation between our two countries in developing water management capacity in Lebanon will result in long-term benefits, not only for the Lebanese citizens of today, but for generations of Lebanese to come.”

About IRG :

Working with governmental agencies, communities, end users, and the private sector, International Resources Group seeks to increase water supply through improvements in efficiency and equity of water use and satisfy the growing demand of urban and rural households, industries, and farmers. With extensive integrated water and land management experience, and guided by a deep understanding of the ridge-to-reef dynamic, our experts help prepare for and mitigate the negative effects of floods, droughts, and accidental contaminating spills. Improving the supply of clean water, sanitation practices, and health of the population while safeguarding the environment and planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation are key considerations in our approach to integrated water resource management


  • River Basin Planning
  • Watershed Management
  • Water Quality Assessment/Enhancement
  • Water Policy Reform
  • Water Management and Wastewater Reuse
  • Coastal Resources Management
  • Coastal Zone Development

Select projects include:

Providing Integrated Water and Coastal Resource Management
IRG provides technical assistance, capacity building, planning and analytical services for water and coastal management projects in countries around the world, including developing, expanding and rehabilitating safe water supply and sanitation services for cities and rural areas, creating sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, protecting coral reefs, controlling pollution, managing irrigation and wastewater systems, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Our work includes various crosscutting activities, including capacity building and institutional strengthening, assessment and analysis, policy and legal program support, and data and information collection and sharing. IRG leads a consortium of universities, NGOs, small businesses, other consulting firms, and resource organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of USAID and host-country clients. Worldwide: Integrated Water and Coastal Resources Management IQC

Improving Resource Efficiency through Decentralization and Better Agricultural Practice
In close partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, IRG has worked with USAID for more than a decade to develop and implement appropriate responses to Egypt’s water scarcity. IRG supports efficient water use in agriculture by shifting to high-value, low water-consuming crops, introducing on-farm water-saving technologies, and developing institutional capacity and systems for decentralized and integrated management of water resources. To date, 27 integrated water management districts (IWMD) and 600 Branch Canal Water Users’ Associations (BCWUA) have been established covering 1.2 million feddans (one feddan = 1.038 acres). By project completion in 2012, an additional 45 water management districts will be established in the East Delta area to manage water for 2.2 million feddans of agricultural land, about 27% of Egypt’s cultivated area. Working together, the IWMDs and BCWUAs serve to allocate water resources efficiently, distribute them equitably, and strengthen local water management capacities. Egypt: Integrated Water Resources Management I-II

Promoting Effective Water Resources Management to Protect the Environment
IRG recently completed implementing the Integrated Watershed Resources Management project in Honduras to improve the management of critical watersheds and support economic growth through sustainable management of natural resources. IRG developed 27 community sub-watershed management plans that included risk and vulnerability assessments and action plans. The subwatershed action plans under implementation include water source protection, forestry and agroforestry actions, and improving water quality. Eighteen environmental policies in support of Honduras’ CAFTA environmental obligations were implemented in collaboration with the Honduran government and the private sector. IRG implemented cleaner use and production of water through water balances and water quality monitoring programs that formed part of the watershed action plans. Honduras: Integrated Watershed Resources Management

Implementing a Regional Benchmarking System for Water Management
Population and income growth, and accompanying increases in demand for water are placing growing pressure on the limited water resources of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In this context, the IRG team is designing and implementing a regional water governance benchmarking system – a strategic framework and a set of yardsticks to evaluate national water management institutions, mechanisms and processes, and to assist in defining objectives and targets for better water management and policy making. IRG’s approach assists MENA water policy makers and donors develop and employ a strategic framework to assess legal, institutional, and policy structures for water management; integrate social, economic, and environmental considerations into national water master plans; establish and build capacity to define and monitor benchmarks; identify standards to evaluate water services delivery; and provide a water management vision that stresses efficiency, participation, equity, and sustainability. Blue Revolution Initiative: Regional Water Governance Benchmarking in the MENA region

Improving Health and Promoting Efficiency through Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
In conjunction with the Water Authority of Jordan and local authorities, IRG and its team carried out feasibility studies to select sites for pilot activities and determine appropriate treatment and reuse technologies, carried out environmental impact assessments, prepared documents for competitive tenders, and assisted with evaluation of bids. Our team is now supervising the construction of facilities, and engaging with local and central government authorities on arrangements for operations and maintenance, including the development of institutional arrangements and cost recovery mechanisms. When completed, we will provide training in operations and prepare manuals for that purpose. In the initial stages of operations, we will monitor the quality of treated effluents. Jordan: Wastewater Treatment/Reuse Activity

Conserving Biodiversity in Watersheds
This project strategically focuses resources on mitigating key threats facing the Panama Canal Watershed and improving its ability to maintain the hydrological functioning of the system, protect biodiversity, and enhance rural economic development. IRG and its partner support improved watershed management and biodiversity conservation by: assisting communities and government agencies in developing and implementing action plans for sub-watershed management; providing small grants and technical assistance to small businesses for resource management, biodiversity conservation, and community-based new enterprise development and strengthening; providing training and technical assistance to incorporate good management practices, developing business plans, and and linking small businesses to buyers and markets to support the creation of new enterprises; and strengthening the policy and institutional enabling conditions to improve environmental management in the watershed. Panama: Management of Critical Watersheds

Defining Water Policy and Regulatory Frameworks
To improve water management in Honduras, IRG designed and organized stakeholder meetings; identified and met with key constituents in the institutional and policy environments; identified and provided copies of technical reports relevant to the design effort; prepared a synthesis of USAID and Honduran experiences in natural resource and water resource policy; compiled a list of interventions with the most potential to achieve sustainable watershed results; and incorporated its findings into a brief which included commendations in water policy and the institutional and regulatory framework. Honduras: Effective and Sustainable Water Management

Wastewater Systems for Small Villages (MS Word, 123kb)

In cooperation with municipalities in the Bekaa, the program builds small wastewater treatment systems to protect the upper Litani River Basin and the health of local communities. It provides a comprehensive solution to mitigate water quality degradation of the Litani River from uncontrolled discharge of untreated domestic wastewater in the upper Litani River basin. 

Litani River Basin Management Support (MS Word, 84kb)

The program supports improved, more efficient and sustainable water resource management in the Litani River Basin by providing technical support to the Litani River Authority, procuring specialized equipment, and implementing limited scale infrastructure activities.

Lebanon Water and Wastewater Sector Support (MS Word, 85kb)

In cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Water, the program assists all four of Lebanon’s Water Establishments attain financial and operational sustainability and overcome the many challenges they face.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information USAID / Projects Middle East
Keyword(s) River Basin Planning, Watershed Management, Water Quality Assessment, Water Policy Reform, wastewater reuse, coastal resources management, coastal zone development
Geographical coverage Lebanon,
News date 26/08/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH