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Summary & Conclusion

After eight years of very constructive cooperation with the partners from Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, the SMART consortium can look back proudly on very successful results regarding the adoption of the IWRM concepts in the target oriented regional planning in the Lower Jordan Rift system.

The manifold requirements of a sustainable water management were taken into account, not only with respect to the availability of the resources, but also with regard to the socio-economic conditions in order to satisfy the demands of the diverging groups of the society. The reorganization from a sectoral projection to an integrated water development approach needs a long time. Within SMART, new scientific models for sub- catchments were developed, which improved the entire understanding of regional water systems and the connected land use. This may help solve and locally secure the water situation. These concepts can be transferred step by step to the whole region. Based on the strong connection with the governments and stakeholders, certain elements of the new concepts have already been integrated into the current state water programs, such as the approaches to groundwater protection in Palestine or the conversion of the main IWRM concepts into the new water strategy plan for Jordan. In addition, improved technologies, such as decentralized wastewater treatment or desalination of brackish water, could be adapted, tested in pilot and demonstration plants, and partly have already been implemented locally.

The large involvement of all responsible groups, from the government with the responsible ministries, to the water and environmental authorities, to stakeholders, to local consultants and companies, to scientists from universities and other scientific organizations finally gave rise to a huge corporation, which initiated and supported the rethinking of the previous reckless water utilization policy. This development was additionally supported by a gradual capacity development program with specific water curricula for pupils at schools, training programs for technicians, or specific scientific programs for PhD students. Last, but not least, the close cooperation of partners from different countries in this politically unstable region confirmed that water resources are not restricted to political boundaries, but need the joint efforts of all riparian owners. Such a fruitful cooperation as was demonstrated in the SMART project by all partners might contribute to a peaceful understanding between the countries involved. (Klinger et al. 2014)