The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is heading a USAID-funded regional project on groundwater governance in the Arab world intended to address the challenges posed by the unsustainable use of groundwater. Groundwater over-abstraction is a vexing issue in most parts of the world and exercising control over it is a clear challenge to policy-makers, managers and academics alike, especially given the spatially disperse nature of access points.

It can be argued that there  are  both  limited  success  stories  and  a  very  large  diversity  of  physical, legal  and institutional/cultural contexts, making it difficult to draw lessons or derive recommendations across the board. Yet, knowledge and experience about governance and policy options from other countries, and understanding of the conditions in which these options might be feasible and successful, can help MENA decision-makers as they try to tackle these complex issues.

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