Freshwater is the most precious and valuable natural resource essential for all kind of life on the land surface. Especially man depend on the availability and quality of the water, it is vital for the socio-economic growth of societies and nations as well as for the sustainability of the environment. Freshwater resources are not distrib uted in an equal way over the continents. Regions with surplus facing areas with shortage or even lack of water. From their nature arid and semi-arid areas are char acterized by scarcity of water with all the affiliated unfavourable attributes. In the Middle East this lack of sufficient water coupled with the high growth rates of pop ulation constitutes serious water problems which has become e real political issue. The German-Arabic Society for Environmental Studies, Frankfurt, in co-opera tion with the Centre for Environmental Studies at the University Frankfurt has raised up this problems for a scientific discussion. With the Symposium on "Water of the Middle East and North Africa: Resources, Protection and Management" in Frankfurt on November 25 and 26, 2002 a platform was created, which enabled participants - scientists and politicians - from twelve countries to discuss the water problems facing the region. It was the intension of the organisers to deepen the knowledge about the hydrologic regimes, to increase our understanding of the complex integrated processes and to draw the necessary conclusions with regard to an integrated sustainable water management.