Water in agriculture in three Maghreb countries
-status of water resources and opportunities in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia-
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
Acacia Water (lead), The Salt Doctors, together with local experts from Morocco,
Algeria and Tunisia, commissioned by the Agricultural Offices of the Dutch Embassies
in Algiers and Rabat, financed by the Dutch Ministry of LNV
6 months, 2021-2022
The Maghreb countries are facing increasing water scarcity amplified by inefficient water use and overexploitation of water resources.
There is evidence that surface water is diminishing and that groundwater levels are lowering rapidly.
The countries are affected by climate change as rainfall is more erratic and there are longer lasting and more severe periods of drought, alternated with severe rains and catastrophic flooding. The projected climate change impact on agriculture in the Maghreb will most likely increase further.
This is accompanied by salinization of soils and ground water, even strengthened by over-fertilization of soils, combined with a general low productivity and misuse of water.
The Netherlands has world-renowned expertise when it comes to water management and agriculture, and finding sustainable and practical solutions for water use efficiency, quality improvement and circular agriculture.
In order to link the Dutch experience and expertise to the issues at hand, an assessment of the current situation of water use and water problems in agriculture as well as the challenges for improvement was needed.
The composed report includes a literature study, combined with interviews with experts
and stakeholders in governments, research institutes, companies, international organisations
in The Netherlands, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Reviewed were the:
• The status and trends of the available water resources in relation to water use and water use efficiency in agriculture.
• Important Government policies and development plans on water and agriculture including adaptation and mitigation policies for climate change impact.
• Governance in Water Resources for agriculture on water efficiency, water reuse and water allocation at a national level and in focus regions East/South East and Souss/Masa in Morocco; the coastal zones and Biskra-region in Algeria; Gabes-region in Tunisia.
• Development status and trends in water efficiency technologies, including use of drip irrigation, non-conventional water sources, sustainable energy for pumping, circular greenhouses, remote sensing and satellite data applications.
• Status and development of relevant water-agri knowledge needs in relation to available Dutch technologies and experience
The outcome allowed a comparative overview of several key opportunities and specific
technological developments and link these to Dutch knowledge and technology solutions
For each of the countries we described most opportune cooperation opportunities shaped
as business cases with the involvement of the local Government, Dutch and local private
sector and knowledge organizations.
The full report is available here.