Tuesday, 29 May 2018 13:37

EU, Ministry of Water Resources and UNESCO celebrating the Official Closing of the EU funded ASHRI-2 Project

Baghdad, 28 May 2018 -The European Union, the Ministry of Water Resources and UNESCO have marked the official closing of the EU-funded project entitled “Advanced Hydrogeological Survey of Groundwater Resources in Iraq - Phase II (ASHRI-2)”.

Building upon UNESCO's long experience and studies in the field of drought and water resources' management in Iraq, ASHRI-2 has been addressing the geoscientific assessment of Iraq’s groundwater resources, in view of water shortage and scarcity, and its dangerous outcome on socio-economic and cultural development, health, environment and eco-systems.
Since its launch in November 2013, ASHRI-2 has been delivering critical data, information and knowledge management tools required for sound management of groundwater resources in Iraq and deployed state-of-the-art methodologies and techniques in geoscientific mapping of groundwater resources, and IT-based database management, forming important outcomes.
The Government of Iraq representative Mr. Dhafer A. Hussain, said in his speech “This project is a very important step in the path of optimal investment of national resources, and mapping the Iraq’s most important groundwater system, which, overall, underlie much of the national territory and which represent an important component of the total water supply of the republic.”
The EU Chargé d'Affaires, Mr. Tomas Reyes Ortega highlighted that: “Hydrological resources, including groundwater, are one of Iraq's many treasures, which if efficiently and properly managed can have an everlasting impact in the livelihoods of the Iraqi people”
“ASHRI-2 has touched on the complexity of managing water resources, addressing the knowledge about groundwater, the ability to manage it technically sound, and the improvement of water sector related steering competence, towards adequate sector management and policy development. ASHRI-2 has equipped the beneficiaries with applied international best practices, standard procedures and normative methodologies, to be built upon,” said Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Office for Iraq.
In his closing notes, Dr.rer.nat. Lück, the project manager of ASHRI-2, appreciated the continued support by the Iraqi Government making the implementation of the project a great achievement for the national efforts towards the development of capabilities in the sustainable management of limited water resources.
Through an EU contribution of EUR 5 million, the project has been validating and updating essential data and information on Iraq’s groundwater resources, improving the governments' management competence in this field. By the end of ASHRI-2, UNESCO Office for Iraq aims to harness a more developed knowledge base on groundwater resources, and to provide evidence based policy guidance and recommendations to the Government. Both, the Government of Iraq, and the EU, have expressed their interest and readiness to further cooperate on the development of technical capabilities, and overall institutional steering competence of the water sector authorities, namely the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in Erbil.

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Additional Info

  • Agency: UNESCO

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