Challenges of post-war policy reforms in Lebanon’s water sector – lessons learned

Georges Gharios (Lead / Corresponding author), Nadim Farajalla, Rana El Hajj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lebanon has not been able to properly develop and benefit from its water sources. A confessional system of governance has hindered development of the sector. Laws and regulations have been developed erratically with many superseding others without the superseded laws being erased from the registry. This created a chaotic regulatory and legal environment with overlapping jurisdictions and no clear accountability mechanisms. The period before the onset of the civil war in 1975 witnessed significant progress of both infrastructure and laws and regulations related to the management of the water sector. The civil war destroyed the water sector infrastructure and emptied all regulatory control of the resources. The period of reconstruction between 1990 and 1999 witnessed the promulgation of ambitious reconstruction plans for the water sector with funding reliant on borrowing from local and external debtors. Post 1999, government reforms started creeping into the system but were often donor driven and still suffered from the same mistakes of laws overlain on top of existing laws without erasing the older material. Critically, the management of the sector is not inclusive and the beneficiaries of water services are often not heard and ignored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3672-3684
Number of pages13
JournalWater Supply
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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