Decision Support System to Improve Water Management in Armenia
The USAID-funded Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP) managed by ME&A conducted the second meeting of the Decision Support System (DSS) Advisory Group on April 25-26, 2013 in Aghveran, Armenia. The meeting presented the results of work completed by the CEWP toward the development of the DSS for integrated water resources management.
One of the objectives of the CEWP is to introduce technical tools and mechanisms for improved integrated management of the country's water resources. Achieving this task requires a multi-phased approach, which assumes development of clear mechanisms for the wise use of water resources by various sectors with due account of factors such as water balance and availability, short- and long-term water demand, climate change impact and other considerations. To this end, the CEWP is designing the DSS which will be used to enhance the effectiveness of decision making in this field. This particularly relates to providing analytic information for integrated river basin management planning and water use permitting. In the light of increasing water use and anthropogenic pressures on environment and water eco-systems, the DSS is anticipated to become a very useful instrument for better planning and management of water resources.
Potential users of the DSS will be the Water Resources Management Agency and its regional River Basin Management Organizations, ArmStateHydrometService and other institutions and experts concerned with water resources management and protection. The Advisory Group was formed in December 2012 to evaluate and provide technical recommendations on the DSS from the perspective of field practitioners and future users.
The Clean Energy and Water (CEW) Program is a USAID-funded four-year project designed to support Armenia in improving sustainable management of water and energy sectors through developing capacity for integrated energy and water resource planning, implementation of clean energy and water demonstration projects, public outreach and donor coordination activities. ME&A manages the CEW Program for USAID under a Task Order awarded throguh the WATER II Indefinite Quantity Contract.
ME&A Evaluates Two Economic Projects in Georgia
ME&A conducted performance evaluations of two USAID funded projects in Georgia under the Caucasus Mission Evaluation IQC - the Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) Project and the Access to Mechanization Project (AMP). These two projects are implemented under the USAID/Caucasus Economic Growth Office, which is about to modify its portfolio of activities. These evaluations will be used to design future projects and adjust current projects as needed.
Under this Task Order, USAID/Caucasus looks to identify lessons learned, assess strengths and weaknesses of strategies and activities performed under these projects, and provide recommendations to USAID for project planning purposes for the next five years. The EPI project aims to improve enterprise, industry, and country-level competitiveness by identifying and targeting key, external and internal factors to enhance the growth rates and productivity of enterprises in the economy, thereby enhancing the economic well-being of workers in the economy. The AMP project focuses on increasing productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers by improving access to machinery services. For these evaluations ME&A assembled two separate teams. Both groups arrived in Georgia on April 9, where they conducted field work until the end of the month.
CEW Hosts Open House for Program Partners
The Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP) hosted an Informal Open House Event on Monday, April 8 at the Citadel Business Center in Yerevan, Armenia. The guests of the CEWP were representatives of USAID as well as its partners from local and international organizations and government agencies such as the Children of Armenia Fund, Counterpart International, State Committee of Water Systems of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, State Hydro-Meteorological Service and other organizations. USAID Mission Director Dr. Karen Hilliard was also present at the event. She used the opportunity to greet the partners and the CEWP team at this informal social gathering and wished success to their joint projects.
The CEWP seeks partnerships with a number of local organizations and donor-funded programs, to solicit co-funding for demonstration projects. These efforts have already yielded results. In partnerships with the Children of Armenia Fund and SOS Children Villages Armenia, CEWP successfully completed energy efficient lighting projects in Lernagog village in the Armavir region and SOS Children's Village in Ijevan. Two renewable energy projects are currently underway in SOS Children's Village in Kotayk as well as a rural clinic in Darbas village in Syunik in collaboration with SOS Children's Villages Armenia and World Vision International.
CEW Program Team Conducts Training for Water Resource Managers in Armenia
On March 25, the USAID Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP) commenced a five-day training course on data management and databases for the staff of the Water Resources Management Agency and regional Basin Management Organizations. The objective of this training effort is to support the process of the decentralization of the decision-making process to the river basin level and to provide trainees with practical skills for maintaining the basin-level data on water use permits. Led by the staff of the CEW Program, the training course combines theory with practical learning. Participants will master the use of MS Access software followed by practical exercises on the application of the database to administration of water use permits. The training course is conducted as part of the overall program of technical assistance offered by the CEW Program to the staff of the Water Resources Management Agency and Basin Management Organizations to assist in improving the management of water resources across Armenia
ME&A Communicators Prepare for World Water Day
ME&A's USAID funded Water Sector Communication and Knowledge Management (WSCKM) Program team has been busy over the past few weeks generating ideas and content for World Water Day on March 22, 2013. This year's theme is: water cooperation. To help promote World Water Day to the international community, ME&A created a social media plan for @USAID on Twitter that features water-related information for use during the days leading up to #WorldWaterDay. The March edition of USAID's Global Waters magazine, published by ME&A, provides a close up view of individuals working on water issues in every corner of the globe, and examines the collaborative work being done by USAID among the neediest. The WSKCM Program team is also developing story ideas for USAID's Frontlines magazine for its upcoming issue on water. For more information, promotional materials, and exciting ideas on the world's water, visit the www.worldwaterday.org or the official United Nations World Water Day Facebook page. Happy World Water Day from the WSCKM team!
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