NAWAMED project, an important contribution to the National Water Strategy of Tunisia


Ms Latifa Bouselmi, from the CERTE (Centre for Water Research and Technologies) in Tunisia, partner of NAWAMED, explains in this article why the project not only will contribute to the National Water Strategy of Tunisia but how the tackled issues are so urgent in light of the effect of climate change which will stress more and more an already complicated situation.

My country Tunisia is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change with very variable resources (3 to 6 billion m3 with an average of 2.6 billion m3 per year, (1)) and the ground water is overexploited (117% in 2018, (2)). In dry years, the exploitation of available resources can reach 100%. This situation generates tensions and conflicts at the social level and hampers development opportunities, the main demand of the Tunisian revolution. 
Tunisia is a pioneer in wastewater treatment in the southern Mediterranean region and has 122 wastewater treatment plants with a production of about 374 million m3 of treated wastewater (year 2018, (3)). However, reuse has been stagnant for years and does not exceed 30%. This clearly shows the limits of the current system in terms of concepts and governance.
Given the urgency of the situation, the water code is under reconstruction and two studies are underway: the national strategy WATER 2050 for the management of water resources by 2050 and the reuse of treated wastewater in Tunisia by 2050 (Water Reuse 2050). It is in this climatic and social urgency as well as this strategic political will that the NAWAMED project integrates this national context. All of its activities propose adapted and sustainable technological solutions, a national and Mediterranean strategic documents as well as capacity building for all stakeholders in the field of local water management.


(1) Ministère de l’agriculture, des ressources hydrauliques et de la pêche, ELABORATION DU PLAN DIRECTEUR NATIONAL DE REUTILISATION DES EAUXUSEES TRAITEES EN TUNISIE « WATER REUSE 2050 », Phase 1 : Diagnostic de la filière et élaboration des orientations de base, Juillet 2019.

(2) Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Ressources Hydrauliques et de la Pêche, Bureau de la Planification et des Equilibres Hydrauliques, RAPPORT NATIONAL DU SECTEUR DE L’EAU, 2018