PROSIM organises the IV thematic web talk and a virtual field visit event to share knowledge on water desalination



On the 5th of July 2021, the General Directorate of Rural Engineering and Water Exploitation (DGGREE) and Tunisian partner of the PROSIM project organized the fourth thematic web talk of PROSIM focused on water desalination for irrigation and the use of brackish water in agriculture. Participants were from the different Mediterranean partners and associated countries as Jordan, Tunisia, Spain, Egypt, Morocco, and Italy.
The web talk started with the welcoming of the participants by Mrs Najet Gharbi Director of water saving at the DGGREE and Technical Support Officer of the PROSIM project, followed by a presentation on the water resources available in Tunisia. Mr Nabil Rehaiem, Deputy Director at the DGGREE and the National Coordinator of the PROSIM project in Tunisia, focused his presentation on the Tunisian experience in desalination units for irrigation. He presented the Gonnat irrigated district case study. Mr. Rehaeim showed the positive impact of a desalination unit on 76 farmers and how PROSIM activities will help 74 other farmers to improve their crop production.
The third presentation was done by Mr. Fathi Kamel, Director at the National Company of water exploitation and distribution (SONEDE) with the technical expertise on desalination units. Mr. Fathi gave an overview of the desalination units installed in Tunisia and their characteristics in terms of production capacity, purpose and technology used. Mr. Fathi also highlighted the importance of using renewable energy as an energy source for these units.
The last presentation was made by Dr Makram Belhajj, development manager at AQUATEC Solutions. The presentation gave an overview to the participants on how to identify the most vulnerable areas and how to adapt, develop and disseminate alternative sustainable and more productive and resilient systems for saline agro-ecosystems for farmers in semi-arid countries with the focus on Tunisia.

Despite the COVID 19 situation, PROSIM was able to conduct a field visit virtually with the focus on water desalination for irrigation and the use of brackish water in agriculture. The virtual field visit was organized as a round table around to answer questions related to water desalination and to the biosaline agriculture and the use of brackish water in irrigation. This session was successful and offered the opportunity to the project partners and participants to learn from the experts’ fields of expertise, who shared their experiences and provided advice. The virtual field visit session came up with recommendations aligned to the PROSIM project activities implementations.
The fourth thematic webtalk and the virtual field visit on desalination gave the opportunity to the Tunisian project partner to share technical expertise, experiences and advice on desalination technologies. The support from two experts in the field of water desalination and the use of saline water gave the project partners an overview of the advantages and how to face the challenges when dealing with desalination water in agriculture and greatly contributed to build knowledge to project partners.