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Management of groundwater resources in relation to oasis sustainability: The case of the Nefzawa region in Tunisia

Mekki I., Jacob F., Marlet S., Ghazouani W.. 2013. Journal of Environmental Management, 121 : p. 142-151.

In Southern Tunisia Nefzawa region, the deep fossil aquifers have been used intensively to support agricultural activities and economic development. This resulted in the degradation of groundwater resources as well as in their conflicting uses. Efficient management strategies that allow for compromises between economic development and water resource preservation are needed. Such strategies require initial understanding of the interactions between stakeholders and water related processes. This paper aims to conceptualize the causalities between the management of deep fossil aquifers and the functioning of oasian agrosystems. By merging biophysical and socioeconomic issues, we propose an integrated assessment of public policies devoted to the management of groundwater resources. The failure of public policies emphasizes both the lack of consideration for individual initiatives and the long-term uncertainties on such policies, where farmer practices have been driven by economic and cultural factors. A set of indicators is next proposed for assessing the preservation of deep fossil aquifers that support agricultural and economic development. Further methodological improvements are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of constraints and incentives on the management of deep fossil aquifers. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : pratique culturale; politique de développement; développement durable; système de culture; oasis; eau souterraine; nappe souterraine; gestion des eaux; tunisie; politique publique; stratégie paysanne

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion; Economie et politique du développement; Systèmes et modes de culture

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