Tunisia launches national strategy to better preserve water

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Wednesday unveiled a national strategy for better preserving water resources.

The announcement was made on the Tunisian Economic Forum organiqed by Arab Institute of Business Leaders.

“This strategy will be able to preserve every drop of water through the construction of dams, collinear lakes and boreholes, in addition to some deepwater projects planned in the south of the country,” Chahed assured.

Currently, among Tunisian water resources, 77.3 percent is used in agricultural sector, 15.5 percent for drinking water, 6 percent for industry and 1.2 percent for tourism.

At the opening of the Economic Forum on “Economic Policies and the Challenges of Scarcity of Resources,” the Prime Minister said efforts focused on controlling demand, consumption and water saving in developing countries in different social and economic sectors, through the implementation of the national programme aimed at strengthening the profitability of water networks and improving the indicators of exploitation and services and the water saving among major consumers.

Tunisia is under pressure on water resources, knowing that the average available water amounts to 467 m3 per capita and per year while the poverty line is at the global scale of 1,000 m3 of water per year and per individual.

Chahed said at the event, organised by the Arab Institute of Business Leaders (IACE), that the lack of water resources is one of the most important challenges facing agricultural development and food security in Tunisia. He added, in the same context, that the availability of water is an essential criterion for achieving sustainable development, in the face of the multiplication of climatic phenomena, including drought and floods.

“Although Tunisia has managed to achieve significant rates in terms of connecting the population to the drinking water system (100% in urban areas and 97.7% in rural areas), we still suffer from a disparity between regions, “he noted, adding that this rate does not exceed 92.4 % in the northwestern governorates, due to the local scarcity of deep water.

The Prime Minister recalled the projects that have been launched by the government to deal with these disparities, including the strategic water sector by 2030, which is based on the valuation of unconventional resources, including treated wastewater and desalinated water, as well as the protection of water from pollution.


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