Arab countries suffer from acute water scarcity. Allan J. A. (2002) notes in his paper titled ‘The Middle East Water Question: Hydro-politics and the global economy’ that the MENA region practically ran out of water in the 70s. This sustained water scarcity has seriously hampered socio-economic development potential of the region and has led to increased susceptibility of land to salinization and desertification. Poor water governance also poses a serious threat to irrigated agriculture, agricultural productivity and leads to groundwater depletion on account of disproportionate usage. Thus water resource management is one of the critical sectors in overall MENA region. Not only in MENA region but in the wake of climate change and extreme weather conditions water resource management is a challenge all over the world. Water poverty is one of the major parameters of measuring poverty and ensuring access to safe water is essential for attaining sustainable development and poverty reduction. Recognizing this United Nations has included access to the safe and adequate water supply as one of the seventeen sustainable development goals.
This opens up a huge market potential for desalinization and other water purification as well as water conservation technologies in MENA region. India too like MENA region faces a very high level of water stress on account of its development ambitions as well as population. A dedicated water resource management wing at IACCIA will work towards enhancing cooperation between India and the Arab world on this front in various ways; like identifying best practices in water resource management and disseminating them through workshops, conferences and training programs etc. It will also work towards knowledge sharing, technology transfer and promoting new and innovative technologies of water saving and management like rainwater harvesting, watershed management, desalination, water auditing and accounting etc. Through its initiatives, IACCIA will encourage water diplomacy to better manage inter-regional water resources. By way of identifying appropriate needs and means of meeting them IACCIA will work towards achieving best partnerships in this critical sector.