WADIS-MAR Water harvesting and Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated and Sustainable model in Maghreb Regions

WADIS-MAR Water harvesting and Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated and Sustainable model in Maghreb Regions

LOCATION AND DURATION OF THE ACTION: ville de Biskra (Algérie) and ville de Zessar (Tunisie); 54 months duration (28/12/2011-27/06/2016).

TARGET GROUP: The action will target Algerian and Tunisian managers, technicians and officials from public institutions and companies. In fact, all partners have recognized the inadequate technical, management and implementation capabilities to effectively address water challenges and the critical role that local government officials plays in carrying out this type of cooperation projects. To be in line with the SWIM program in contributing to ensure institutional reinforcement, develop the necessary planning and management skills through institutional strengthening, society awareness, capacity building and participation, all partners considered the capacity building reinforcement action as the most effective answer to what previously mentioned.

OBJECTIVES OF ACTION: Improving the quality of life of the rural population in arid and semi-arid region of the Maghreb where a growing shortage of water contributes to desertification.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF ACTION: To achieve an integrated, sustainable and participate harvesting water and water & agriculture management in the watershed Oued Biskra in Algeria and Oum Zessar in Tunisia for adaptation to climate change condition and drought.

MAIN ACTIVITIES: 1. Project Management and coordination; 2. Integrated Water and Agricultural Management (IWAM) System design; 3. IWAM System construction; 4. Performance assessment and maintenance phase (Set up of an agro-meteorological service by creating a monitoring network of agro-meteorological stations in Tunisia); 5. Awareness raising and capacity building (Enhancement of local skills and promotion of capacity building to encourage the sustainable and integrated management of water resources, soil protection and farming techniques adapted to climate change in arid and semi-arid regions); 6. Dissemination (Empowering/sensitization activities in order to strengthen south-south experiences with a regional approach addressed to Algerian, Tunisian and International Stakeholders).


1) Technologies - Preparation of new “learning platforms” for water sanitation, for Algeria, the first example ever. The aim is to help develop the Water sanitation training centre (CFME) in becoming a regional training hub. No other centre in Africa will have the same type of platform (which will be similar to those of OIE in France).

e.g. Aquifer recharge systems - In Algeria, the planned intervention had foreseen the realization 1 executive artificial aquifer recharge including 4 dry star wells (incl. drainage pipes); 3 recharge trenches; 4 or more temporary barriers; 2 dry recharge wells; 1 recharge basin and at least 6 piezometers. In Tunisia, the planned intervention included 10 recharge wells to be implemented in 5 selected places: Hallouf, Naggueb, Arniane, Gattar, Hajar. The activity also had foreseen 11 piezometers (5 of which were suggested by CRDA with the purpose to strengthen its monitor capacity). Finally, these two actions have not yet been implemented but their preparation, design and planning has been achieved. In both cases the suggested works would be innovative techniques for Algeria and Tunisia.

2) Process - Preparation of 7 new learning modules – initially designed as usual action to train trainers on new quite technical domains, the program has had some difficulties in finding experts able to propose training pre-defined modules. Therefore, we opted for a different type of action, but with the same aim: the preparation of the modules was done in groups with Algerian trainers coached by international expertise (educational engineering and technical expertise). This allowed:

the preparation of brand new “tailor made” training modules for the sector;
the indirect training on how to build modern training modules that will stay with the Algerian trainers in the future and will be therefore applicable to any kind of domain;
the creation of more structures interactions between  trainers and the development of a sense of ownership.

e.g. Agronomy - Following some agronomic survey, the concrete needs of the farmers involved in the project were examined in depth. Five experimental sites have been chosen and tested with alternative irrigation techniques and type of cultures. Thanks to WADIS MAR, a surface well with a depth of 7 m was rehabilitated; a drip irrigation system was provided putting in place an accurate irrigation scheduling where the quantity of water and the time of irrigation are reported for each crop.

Contact: FAVRET Silvia


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