Water stress Initiative

Status

En cours

Duration of the project

November 2020 -December 2022

Themes

Unconventional water resources

Total budget

150 000 €

Beneficiaries

High level decision makers

Technical staff from sector or cross-cutting Ministries

Socio-professional organizations

NGOs

Private sector

Countries concerned
Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia

Water stress and climate change in North Africa Initiative

The North African region, with its naturally arid or semi-arid climate, is already experiencing the effects of climate change such as water stress, the drop in agricultural yields as well as the increase in the pace and intensity of extreme events. According to a recent report by the Mediterranean Network of Experts in Environment and Climate Change (MedeCC), the area is experiencing an increase in temperatures at a rate 20% higher than global averages, which could, if no immediate action is undertaken, reach +2.2° C from 2040 and go up to +3.8°C in certain regions in 2100.

The French Development Agency group places the resilience of economies and territories on top of its strategic priorities in North Africa with the aim of continuing and strengthening its interventions for the preservation of water resources and the development of unconventional resources. 

The current situation of water stress could increase tensions between uses and conventional renewable resources. In this context, it seems particularly appropriate to have a deeper consideration of the potential contribution of unconventional water resources (the reuse of treated wastewater for agriculture, desalination or demineralization of water and transboundary fossil waters), and to detail the associated conditions and best practices, as well as any environmental risks.

In this context, the AFD and the OSS have decided to launch together the "Water stress and climate change in North Africa" ​​initiative, which is part of the Public Policy and Citizen Dialogue Support Facility funded by the AFD and for which a research and partnership agreement was signed on November 5 with the OSS for an 18-month period.

Objective :

Inform decision-makers on the potential contribution of unconventional water (in particular the reuse of treated wastewater for agriculture, desalination or demineralization of water and transboundary fossil waters), and have the countries of the region share their best practices to meet the challenge of the expected evolution of water resources by 2050 in a climate change context.
 

Specific objectives :

  • Collecting the existing and available information from stakeholders of each country and region to come up with a summary on the expected evolution of surface and groundwater resources by 2050
  • Raising awareness among decision-makers on the gaps between the uses and availability of conventional renewable resources
  • Recalling the need to strengthen demand management mechanisms based on examples of good practices
  • Analyzing the potential contributions that :
  1. Unconventional water resources including the reuse of treated wastewater for agriculture (resources from demineralization practices, brackish water and resources from seawater desalination, and
  2. Transboundary water resources - for the relevant countries - including shared fossil waters, could play, depending on the geographical areas and their bioclimatic specificities
  • Sharing the best practices and associated issues, possible risks (environmental impacts of desalination) and innovative solutions (the example of desalination using renewable energies)
  • Identifying the lack of scientific information and/or reliable data on which additional surveys could be carried out.
Financial partners
  • French Development Agency - AFD
Technical partners
  • COSTEA
  • FAO
Timeline

Approval date

November 2020

Regional workshop for the restitution of the water stress in North Africa Initiative results

June 2022

Key Achievements
  • 1 Regional summary on the water resources condition and the role of unconventional water in meeting the growing demand
  • 4 National summaries on the water resources condition and the role of unconventional water in meeting the growing demand
  • 1 Regional workshop for the restitution of the regional summary and the national summaries
Documents