The water sector in the Arab region suffers from chronic problems, such as water scarcity, weak water and environmental policies, high investment needs, lack of management and technical capacity, increasing demand due to growing populations, and conflicts. Here comes the necessity to engage professionals in utilities from the Arab Countries in a dialogue that extends across the borders within the Arab World. Therefore, the decision to establish the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) was taken in April 2007. The official launching of ACWUA secretariat in Amman was in July 2009.
ACWUA, as a global center of excellence, will work in partnership with water and wastewater utilities in the Arab countries, on building capacities within the utilities, and on instituting best practices, in order for the utilities to achieve their objectives.
ACWUA provides its services to its members in the Arab region relying on its own resources and on the competencies inherent within the member utilities, with the objective of providing them with technical support to develop their performance in managing and producing and supplying water and wastewater services, taking into consideration their technical and professional needs—all this through:
- Operating as a regional platform and expanding internationally, to exchange knowledge between members and experts in the water and wastewater sector.
- Developing resources and implementing training programs and professional O&M licensing and accreditation programs to support the members in carrying out their missions and tasks in a professional reliable manner with the least costs possible.
- Developing and applying specifications and standards in the areas of water governance, utilities management and O&M in water and wastewater utilities.
- Responding to the technical needs of the members through providing advisory services in various aspects that are related to the operations of the utilities through developing a data bank for technical expertise available in the Arab region, and engaging working groups composed from those utilities for this purpose.
- Developing and publishing documents, guides, reports and scientific content that is responsive to the needs of the members and sector experts, all the while considering the regional context and challenges that are faced by the utilities.
ACWUA charter has defined the objectives of the association, as stated in article 6 in the ACWUA bylaw, where the main objective to establish a strong, regional, self-sustainable association in order to assist members from the Arab region to improve their performance in the delivery of water supply and sanitation services,
- Bringing together active water experts and utilities in the Arab region.
- Representation and promotion of common technical managerial, legal, scientific and economic interest of water utilities in the Arab region
- Dissemination and exchange of information on technologies and best practices in the water and sanitation industries.
- Publications and updating the relevant water industry rules and standards of the association.
- Participation in the propagation of other relevant water industry standards
- Capacity development of water utilities staff members and other professionals in various water science and management fields.
- Collaboration and exchange of expertise with other professional associations in water supply/sanitation, environment and other relevant fields within and outside the Arab region.
- Collaboration with municipalities – city councils and water authorities as well as nongovernmental and community-based organizations on both national and international levels.
- Conducting studies and provision of advice and consultation in water legislation, policies, sector management and reform.
- Providing performance monitoring and benchmarking of water utilities.
- Promote certification and accreditation among water and wastewater professionals and utilities respectively.
Strategic Objectives 2015-2019
1. Developing the institutional framework of the Secretariat:
1.1. Receiving grants directly from donor agencies.
1.2. Restructuring the Secretariat based on objectives, responsibilities and activities.
1.3. Revising ACWUA’s Charter and By-law
1.4. Revising and developing annual executive plans that support the strategic business plan.
2. Expanding ACWUA’s reach regionally and internationally:
2.1. Increasing membership in terms of countries and all membership categories.
2.2. Organizing and/or participating in specialty conferences in the area of water and sanitation.
2.3. Increasing the level of outreach and awareness about ACWUA.
3. Supporting the Arab utilities in providing their customers with the best services possible:
3.1. Implementing the Algeria Declaration and the Council of the Arab Water Ministers and working on developing and issuing operational guidelines and standards in the Arab region in the area of water and sanitation.
3.2. Expanding the implementation of operations certification and accreditation programs in as much Arab countries as possible and issuing associated licenses, in addition to certifying other new programs.
3.3. Developing new training courses and programs based on the needs of the member utilities and in accordance with the outcomes of the Utilities Reform and Utilities Management Technical Working Groups, and carrying out training courses.
3.4. Implementing studies, research and performance improvement projects, and twinning programs to improve performance of utilities and develop capacities and knowledge.
3.5. Issuing new best practices guides.
3.6. Supporting Arab Regulators through developing an institutional framework that aims at improving its effectiveness.
4. Attaining financial sustainability:
4.1. Provide the necessary financial resources to cover all operational expenses within ACWUA.