Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) is a Regional Technical Assistance Programme launched by the European Commission to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region.
This is in the context of increasing water scarcity, combined pressures on water resources from a wide range of users, desertification processes and in connection with climate change.
The Programme, with a total budget of approximately € 22 million, is implemented under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), following the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conferences on Environment (Cairo, 2006) and Water (Dead Sea, 2008) and carries forward the results achieved by two earlier EC regional programmes, SMAP (I, II and III) and MEDA Water.
SWIM consists of two major Components, which are inter-related and complement each other:
- A Support Mechanism funded with a budget of € 6.7 million and
- Demonstration Projects funded with a budget of € 15 million
Both Components contribute to the achievement of the Programme's specific objectives that consist of:
• Drawing the attention of Partner Countries' decision-makers and stakeholders on existing and emerging threats to water resources, on the necessity to adopt a more appropriate water consumption and water use model, as well as on the existence of solutions to tackle the problem;
• Supporting Partner Countries in designing and implementing sustainable water management policies at the national and local levels, in liaison with existing international initiatives in the area concerned;
• Contributing to ensuring institutional reinforcement and the development of the necessary planning and management skills and facilitate the transfer of know-how;
• Enhancing regional cooperation in the areas of sustainable and integrated management of water resources through institutional strengthening, inter-sector dialogue, awareness raising, capacity building and stakeholder consultation and participation.
SWIM Partner Countries are: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria* and Tunisia.
SWIM is operationally linked to the objectives of the Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI) in assisting South Mediterranean countries to meet water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Johannesburg (WSSD) Targets.
It builds on the four major themes of the draft Strategy for Water in the Mediterranean, elaborated in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, namely water governance, water and climate change, water financing and water demand management and efficiency including non-conventional water resources.
The project complements and adds value to the Horizon 2020 Initiative to de-pollute the Mediterranean Sea by addressing in particular water issues, in synergy with three relevant EC funded Programmes, namely the Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme - Project Preparation and Implementation Facility (MeHSIP-PPIF), the Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP) and the ENPI Shared Environmental Information System (ENPI/SEIS).
Furthermore, SWIM links to other related regional processes, such as the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) elaborated in the framework of the Barcelona Convention, as well as on-going pertinent programmes, i.e. the UNEP/ MAP GEF Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Large Marine Ecosystem (MedPartnership) and the World Bank GEF Sustainable Mediterranean.
*In May 2011, the European Union decided to suspend all cooperation with Syrian authorities