Reforming water management in Tunisia and protecting natural resources


Title: Reform of the Tunisian water sector and protection of natural resources
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2020 bis 2024


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Tunisia’s water balance is negative, which means that the country uses more water in agriculture, industry and households than is available in the long term through inflows or rain. This overuse of water primarily applies to groundwater. As a result, groundwater levels are decreasing each year throughout the country. Increasing numbers of farmers are digging deep wells without authorisation, thus accelerating the trend. The Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture recognises that this has irreversible consequences for the country’s development. Water resource management needs to curb this situation, but it has so far concentrated solely on using dams to provide water. Efficient use of water has not been prioritised.


Tunisian water management has improved. The public authorities are taking proactive measures to improve the responsible use of water in agriculture, households and industry.

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The project supports partners by providing policy advice, developing modern databases for administrative tasks and providing training for farmers. In addition, it raises the general public's awareness of responsible water use, prepares groundwater management plans and promotes the construction of water storage tanks and cisterns. The project also provides advice on the effective long-term use of natural water and soil resources in food production, with a view to reducing water consumption and developing practical solutions.

The project works focuses primarily on the pilot regions of Nabeul, Zaghouan, Mahdia and Kebili.

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Last update: November 2021