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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


REC/40
22 April 1999


EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON UPDATING ASSESSMENT OF WATER RESOURCES
IN ESCWA MEMBER COUNTRIES OPENS IN BEIRUT


BEIRUT, 20 April (UN Information Service) -- Under the patronage of
Sleiman Trabulsi, Lebanese Minister of Oil, Water and Electricity
Resources, an Expert Group Meeting on "Updating the Assessment of Water
Resources in the ESCWA Member Countries" initiated by the Energy, Natural
Resources and Environment Division of the United Nations Economic and
Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) was opened today at the United
Nations House in Beirut.

The objective of the meeting, which was opened by the Lebanese Minister
of Oil, Water Resources and Electricity and Hazem El-Beblawi, Executive
Secretary of ESCWA, is to review the progress made at the national and
regional levels in improving water-resource knowledge, including shared
sources, water availability, potential and demand, status of implementation
of supply and demand management measures, and institutional and legislative
evolution in the ESCWA region.

The four-day meeting provides a forum for the exchange of experiences
between government-designated water professionals, experts and
participants. Topics to be covered include water resource assessment and
regional integrated water management, recent advances in water-resource-
assessment techniques with regard to improvements in the application of
existing or newly developed methodologies, isotopes, modelling, remote-
sensing techniques, and the use of the Geographic Information System.
Legal, economic, social and administrative frameworks will also be
discussed. The outcome of the meeting will contribute towards improved
assessment, development, utilization and management of scarce water
resources in the ESCWA region.

The meeting was attended by representatives of ESCWA member States
(Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). Delegates of the
United Nations Secretariat bodies, specialized agencies and other
organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations University, the Gulf
Cooperation Council, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A number of universities,
research centres and nongovernmental organizations representatives and
resource persons were also present.



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For information media - not an official record