During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms. In addition, newer and more precise predictions of the effects of climate change indicate that Saudi Arabia will be affected more than had been assumed only a decade ago.
To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen. First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side). Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place.
The transformation of this information into an all-encompassing water resources management requires sustained long-term efforts, especially since the MEWA has limited capacity and experience in this field. An UNDP program has been designed to initiate a systematic process of capacity development to help in sustainable development of water resources and management of water-related affairs the Kingdom to ensure permanent and sufficient supply. The program has five pillars: Groundwater Resources Management; Secondary Water Resources; Water Supply Management; Public Relations, and capacity development and research each represented by a working group. The Project Manager is tasked with running the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Implementing Partner within the constraints laid down by the Board. The Project Manager is responsible for day-to-day management and decision-making for the project. The Project Manager’s prime responsibility is to ensure that the project produces the results (outputs) specified in the project document, to the required standard of quality and within the specified constraints of time and cost