"Water management: difficult year expected" (Abdallah Rabhi) | Tunisia News Gazette

“Water management: difficult year expected” (Abdallah Rabhi)

“The level of available water resources is very comparable to that of the same period last year, amounting to 1.06 billion m3.

We must therefore expect a difficult year in managing this resource, as was the case last year.

Disturbances in water supply could occur despite efforts to mitigate their impact”, Secretary of State for Water Resources Abdallah Rabhi warned Saturday.

Chairing a national seminar on “the rationalisation of water use”, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, he said that “this situation is due to a lack of 700 million m3 in terms of rainfall, compared to an average year”.

Rabhi also pointed out that “the situation of dams in the far north is relatively good, but that of dams of the centre and Cape Bon is critical, including the Nebhana dam that supplies the Sfax-Cap Bon axis”.

To cope with this situation, SONEDE has considered drilling 88 deep boreholes, much of which will be carried out on this axis and connected to the service line supplying it; this will contribute to attenuate the impact of possible disturbances, according to him.

Drilling is also underway in Gabes governorates and in the southern and central western governorates to mitigate the impact of potential water supply pressures.

Regarding the South-East governorates, the Secretary of State said “the situation will be under control after the start of operation of the seawater desalination plant of Djerba, to which mesh networks will be connected to serve these governorates.

Regarding the strategy adopted for irrigation, he said that the Ministry continues for the second consecutive year a daily management through a system of quotas between regions.

Rabhi spoke of the today’s inauguration by the PM of a dam in Bizerte that brings the number of existing dams to 38.

In a statement to TAP, the central director of operations at SONEDE, Abdessalem Saidi, said “the company has put in place a preparation plan for the summer season 2018, which is centered on the construction, connection and electrification of boreholes, the maintenance of pumping stations and the repair of obsolete networks “.

161 actions have been programmed throughout the country in 2018 at a total cost of 150 million dinars, he said.

He added “these actions, much of which has been completed and the rest of is being completed will help mitigate the disruptions that can arise during periods of peak consumption.”

Saidi also spoke of the “the usual annual budget allocated by SONEDE for the renewal of its network amounts to 4 million dinars, noting, however, that the company has been unable in recent years to complete its entire network renewal programme due to its financial difficulties.

SONEDE’s arrears stand currently at 312 million dinars, a large part of which is due to the state.”

Source: TAP News Agency

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