Adapting water resources management policies to address water crises in Mediterranean (Survey) | Tunisia News Gazette

Adapting water resources management policies to address water crises in Mediterranean (Survey)

“The Mediterranean countries, including Tunisia, are called upon to adapt their water resources management policies to cope with the current and future water crises,” says a survey conducted by the Centre of Mediterranean and International Studies (CEMI) in collaboration with the German Konrad-Adenauer Foundation.

According to the survey, entitled “The Mediterranean: Facing Water Resources Scarcity,” adaptation can go as far as increasing the use of unconventional sources of supply such as the reuse of urban waste water and drainage water, the development of desalination of brackish sea or continental waters.

“The increase in demand related to population growth in the Mediterranean region (627 million inhabitants by 2050) and the increase in average demand per capita (600 m3 / year in 2010 against 666 expected in 2025) and urbanisation, increases the risks,” says researcher Jean Marget, one of the authors of the study.

“The likely water crises in the Mediterranean region will not be attributable solely to the effects of climate change on natural renewable water resources, but they are due to the increasing pressure of water demands linked to the increase in the permanent population and seasonal and economic development,” he pointed out.

In the same regard, he emphasized the need for unsustainable water supplies and the mobilisation of irregular natural resources by reservoir dams to reduce siltation, evaporation and fragility of transboundary water resources.

To cope with the scarcity of water, the researcher also recommended the reduction of transport losses in water and irrigation supplies and deliveries and the management of more economical water demands for all uses.

As regards water resources in Tunisia, Yousra Ben Saleh, engineer at the Directorate General of Water Resources in the Agriculture Ministry, indicated that over-exploitation of groundwater resources, pollution of water resources ( watercourses and vulnerable aquifers), the impact of climate change and the siltation of dam reservoirs are the main issues facing the country.

By 2030-2050, Tunisia aims to ensure a balance between supply materialised by mobilisation and demand, in addition to ensuring water security in cases of floods or droughts.

To do this, the country should protect its water resources against all types of pollution, reinforce the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation and the artificial recharge of certain eligible overexploited aquifers.

Tunisia should also fight against the illegal exploitation of surface and underground water resources by application of the new water code and encourage the private sector to use small desalination units and to make users aware of the importance of preserving water resources.

Source: TAP News Agency

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