This study aims at assessing the socio-economic and environmental effects of different societal and human development scenarios and climate change in the water-scarce southern and eastern Mediterranean. The study develops a two-stage modelling methodology that includes an econometric analysis for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region as a whole and a detailed, integrated socio-ecological assessment focusing on Jordan, Syria and Morocco. The results show that water resources will be under increasing stress in future years. In spite of country differences, a future path of sustainable development is possible in the region. Water withdrawals could decrease, preserving renewable water resources and reversing the negative effects on agricultural production and rural society. This, however, requires a combination across the region of technical, managerial, economic, social and institutional changes that together foster a substantive structural change. A balanced implementation of water supply-enhancing and demand-management measures along with improved governance are key to attaining a cost-effective sustainable future in which economic growth, a population increase and trade expansion are compatible with the conservation of water resources.
Dr Consuelo Varela-Ortega is a Professor, Paloma Esteve is a PhD Research Assistant, Dr Irene Blanco is an Assistant Professor, Dr Gema Carmona is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Jorge Ruiz is a PhD Research Assistant, and Tamara Rabah is a PhD Research Assistant at the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid).