Assessment of storm water management

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Result of Service

The ultimate result of this assignment is to provide MED POL and the Contracting Parties with a solid evidence on the state of play of urban storm water networks and discharged pollutants reaching the Mediterranean on the basis of which the Contracting Parties will negotiate the content and measures of the new “Regional Plan on Urban Storm Water Management” to be developed in 2022/2023 biennium.

Work Location



Expected duration

Expected duration of the contract is two months (44 days) spread over eight (8) months from the time of signing of the consulting agreement.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. United Nation’s Environment Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This consultancy assignment is for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)/Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean
(MED POL), Athens, Greece.

During the MED POL Focal Points Meeting, held in Rome, Italy in May 2017, a review of a “list of potential new/updated measures” under Article 15 of the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol) of the Barcelona Convention was undertaken. Accordingly, a priority clustering of new measures under six potential categories was approved. The six categories are (1) urban wastewater treatment; (2) sewage sludge, (3) agriculture nutrients, (4) aquaculture nutrients, (5) stormwater, and (6) marine litter management.

The 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention COP21 (Napoli, Italy, 2-5 December 2019) adopted Decision IG.24/10 which endorsed the main elements for development/ update of six new Regional Plans related to the six aforementioned categories. COP21 also approved the way forward proposing the time frame for the development, negotiation and adoption of the six Regional Plans. With regard to the Regional Plan on Storm Water Management, the Meeting approved submission of the new Regional Plan to COP 23 (December 2023). In preparation for the development of this Regional Plan, the Programme of Work (PoW) and Budget for the biennium 2020-2021, which was adopted in Decision IG.24/14, mandated MED POL in Activity to undertake an “assessment of status and impacts of agriculture nutrients, contaminants, aquaculture, and state of play of urban storm water on the marine environment prepared using to the extent possible existing information.”

To this aim, there is a need to recruit a regional consultant to undertake various studies and assessments at national level in order to identify state of play of urban storm water management in the Mediterranean; evaluate the current and possible level of implementation of potential measures of the future Regional Plan as outlined in the Main elements document adopted by COP21; and recommend, as appropriate, additional measures required to minimise pollution from urban storm water networks and promote environmentally friendly practices in coastal areas.

The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the MED POL Programme Officer (Pollution), under the guidance of the MED POL Programme Management Officer (head of unit). The consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:
1. Prepare a detailed work plan for performance of the following tasks accompanied with a timetable for completion.
2. Undertake a review of: (i) the “main elements of the Regional Plan on Urban Storm Water Management” included in the Annex to this term of reference; and (ii) existing work undertaken by the Contracting Parties and relevant Regional Organizations. Further to this review, propose an outline with specific annotations for assessing the state of play of urban storm water networks and related infrastructure in the Mediterranean and their impacts on the marine environment. Outline for the assessment report to consider aspects related to, but not limited to, the following significant aspects:
a) Regulatory measures governing urban storm water networks in the Mediterranean.
b) Design, operation and maintenance aspects related to urban storm water networks.
c) Aspects related to surface run-off and its contribution to discharge of pollutants through storm water networks to the Mediterranean.
d) Existing BAT and BEP in urban storm water management in the Mediterranean.
Provide a list of references on existing work undertaken by the Contracting Parties and relevant Regional Organizations for this purpose.
3. Further to a consultation process with UNEP/MAP-MED POL, and in line with the agreed annotated outline, undertake an assessment of the impacts of significant aspects of urban storm water in the Mediterranean with a focus on, but not limited to, the following issues:
a) Regulatory measures governing design, operation and maintenance of urban storm water networks in the Mediterranean.
b) Implementation of storm water management plans including risk management by the Mediterranean countries.
c) Extent to which separate collection systems for storm water run-off is applied in the Mediterranean.
d) In case of combined stormwater/sewage collection systems, extent to which measures are implemented for separating and filtering suspended solids, contaminants and marine litter, including regular maintenance of these installations.
e) Measures related to pollution reduction and prevention from run-off originating in contaminated sites (such as industrial and commercial areas) and constructed infrastructure (parking, pavements, etc.)
f) Application of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) such as green infrastructure for small medium cities, wetlands, retention ponds, recharge of aquifers, etc.
g) Availability of technical standards for drainage of storm water to outlets on the beach in the Mediterranean.
h) Availability of qualitative and quantitative data for runoff (i.e. in different areas characterized by different pollutants loads).
The aforementioned assessments to be based mainly on information provided from a review of existing documents and reports. In case certain data are missing on the national level, survey questionnaires may be circulated to MED POL focal points to address information gaps as appropriate.
4. Based on the assessment findings of the significant aspects addressed in task (3), and in line with the endorsed proposed measures foreseen for the Regional Plan on Urban Storm Water Management, evaluate current level of implementation (or non-implementation) of the proposed measures by the Mediterranean Countries with a focus on those with significant adverse impacts on the Mediterranean marine environment.
5. Based on the assessment findings of the impacts of significant aspects addressed in task (3), recommend additional measures, as appropriate, supported by a list of technical specifications to be addressed in the Regional Plan complementing those identified in the evaluation findings in task (4), with the aim to further reduce inputs of pollutants and contaminants to the Mediterranean marine environment.
6. Provide technical support to MED POL in terms of presentations and reports for submission to the experts and MED POL Focal Points meetings planned in April and May 2021.
7. Prepare the assessment report reflecting comments received from the Meeting(s), accompanied by a final report of deliverables of the consultancy including on methodology for performance of tasks.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in civil engineering, environmental engineering, hydraulic engineering or related field is required
Experience: • Relevant professional experience in design and/or operation and maintenance of storm water networks and related infrastructure, with a focus on inputs of suspended solids, contaminants and marine litter into receiving waters, is required;
• Knowledge of status of urban storm water networks in the Mediterranean, is required;
Language: • Excellent writing skills in English are required;
• Knowledge of French is an asset.

Additional Information

Knowledge of the UNEP/MAP and of the relevant programmes of measures/ regional plans with related working experience is an asset;