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Integrated Water Management in Tunisia: Meeting the Climate Change Challenges

As a southern Mediterranean country, Tunisia is located under an irregular climate. With a mean annual rainfall of 230 mm, the country sustains a water scarcity context. While the present annual water resource average is estimated to be 450 m3 per capita, it is expected to be barely 315 m3 beyond 2030. With the increase of the living standards as well as the development of the agriculture, industry, and tourism sectors, the water shortage will be exacerbated. Given that situation, the Tunisian water policy had been engaged toward an integrated approach. Coordination between the main stakeholders involved in the water management became effective. One of the main tools of this strategy is already the demand management. It assumes an important issue for the case of the agriculture sector consumption (more than 83 % of the available water resources). However, Tunisia is also strongly concerned by the climate change. Official forecasts report an expected increase of the annual average temperature by 1.1 °C (0.9 °C in the north and 1.6 °C in the south), a loss of nearly 20 % of the arable lands and a decrease in the water resources by more than 28 % beyond 2030. It seems evident that the national integrated water policy will require further commitment with the spectra of the climate change impacts. The preparedness of Tunisia to meet such challenge is a precondition to its water resources reliability. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. All rights are reserved.

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