A delegation from the Water Sector Regulatory Council concluded on Monday 25 October 2016, a three days’ exploratory visit to the Portuguese capitol Lisbon, where they met key proprietors in the water sector including the Ministry of Environment, Águas de Portugal, the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA), and Forum of Water Services Regulators (ERSAR). The delegation included the council’s chairman Mr. AbdelKarim Asa’d, council’s CEO Mr. Mohammad Said Al Hmaidi, and a number of the board members including Mr. Mohammad Awny Abu Ramadan, Mr. Anan Jayyousi, Mr. Abdullah Lahlooh, and Development Advisor from the GIZ Liesa Sauerhammer.
The delegation began their visit by meeting the Ambassador of Palestine to Portugal Dr. Hikmat Al-Ajouri, where they briefed the latter on the council and its progress, as well as reviewing the council’s future plans and main challenges they are tackling.
On the second day, the delegation met with the Director of International Affair Department at Ministry of Environment Mr. Pedro Liberato, as he spoke about the ministry’s role in developing the water sector, stressing on the importance of international relations regarding exchanging experiences and knowledge between nations. Later, the delegation met with representatives from Águas de Portugal, to learn about the company’s management mechanism in water sector and how it coordinates with all parties in the sector. Then the delegation met with representatives from the Portuguese Environmental Agency, which is responsible for water resources management and licensing for abstraction, river basin administration and water and wastewater effluent quality. The delegation introduced the council to attendance, explained the reality of water sector in Palestine, and reviewed the policies and desires that the Palestinians need to carry on in developing and reforming the water sector.
While in the 3rd day, the delegation had an intensive visit to Forum of Water Services Regulators (ERSAR), where they met members of its Board of Directors and discussed several issues, mainly the strategic and technical policies regarding water regulators and their assessment to it. At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed of preparing a Memorandum of Understanding that focuses on knowledge and expertise exchange, capacity building, and joint preparations to participate in International Forums that addresses water sector.