Ministry of Agriculture announces stricter measures to preserve water resources amid lack of rainfall

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries has decided to implement a plan to guarantee the supply of drinking water and to step up controls to ensure compliance with the decision to ban certain uses of water by taking restrictive measures against offenders. At the end of a working session held on Saturday, the Minister of Agriculture, Abdelmonem Belati agreed with the participants in the meeting, in particular Secretary of State for Water Resources, Ridha Gabouj, the governors and delegates of Ben Arous, Manouba, Ariana, Bizerte, Soussa, Sfax, Mahdia, Sfax, Mahdia and Gharda, Sfax, Mahdia and Monastir, as well as the regional commissioners for agricultural development, to organise awareness days in all governorates from November 13. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of water sources at a time when rainfall is scarce. According to a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, the participants were unanimous in calling for a rigorous action plan to put an end to uncontrolled connections to the irrigation water network and to review the situation of hydraulic groups in order to reduce abuses and resolve problems related mainly to water distribution and billing. They planned to draw up a timetable for connecting the planned wells to the drinking water network, including the cost and number of wells involved. Belati pointed to the urgent action programmes being implemented to maintain national food security and ensure the continuity of drinking water supplies. These include, in particular the installation of seawater desalination plants to reduce water pressure in the north and providing the necessary infrastructure for the mobilisation of treated wastewater to the irrigated areas concerned, while continuing the desalination of groundwater in southern Tunisia. During the meeting, participants examined the current water situation in the northern dams and the unprecedented negative impact on dam supplies and stocks. They also examined several scenarios for controlling the overexploitation of surface water.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse