Integrated Water Resources Management

A scheme at the scale of the entire Medjerda river basin

The Medjerda river basin is among the most important ones in the Maghreb in terms of freshwater supply. In fact, it provides drinking water to more than 40% of the Tunisian population and certain industries, (e.g. the iron extraction mine of Ouenza, the largest in Algeria), are also located at different geographical levels along the watershed.

Due to these multiple uses, the surface and underground waters of the Medjerda river basin are overexploited and dangerously exposed to the risks of pollution and contamination (use of agrochemicals, discharges of untreated wastewater, eutrophication of water bodies, etc.). In addition to this, the alarming increase in the number of dams and reservoirs built along its main rivers, is causing a serious deficit in the supply of sediments.

The MedGIRE project will contribute to the conservation and the regeneration of inland and coastal wetlands in the Medjerda river basin through the involvement of all the key stakeholders identified in Algeria and Tunisia, in order to encourage them to build a common and shared vision for the rational use of water resources, integrating the needs of natural ecosystems in the same way as those of the various socio-economic sectors. In this sense, the consortium will develop new studies focusing on the role of wetland ecosystems to understand the link between land use changes and the impacts of water management policies on biodiversity.

The collected and produced georeferenced data will be integrated within the GIS database. This will allow the consortium to establish the baselines for the development of a future integrated water resources management scheme at the scale of the entire Medjerda basin.