Know-how of the water experts for a brighter future in North Africa

21 jul 2020

Water consumption and the risk of water shortages in Tunisia are increasing because of climate change. Our experts are therefore working on the feasibility study for a major water transfer project.

Water consumption in Tunisia has been on the increase for many years. At the same time, the risks of water shortages are also increasing because of climate change. Supplies of good quality clean water are shrinking. To counteract this trend, the Tunisian government has set up a new programme. The task is to make optimum use of water resources and to adapt the management of those resources to changing climatic conditions. The water experts from Tractebel Germany are therefore currently working on the feasibility study for a major water transfer project with a planning horizon extending as far as 2050.

High national priority

The project was commissioned by the Ministry for Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, represented by the General Directorate for Dams and Large Hydraulic Works. It is intended to improve the availability of water for households, agriculture, industry and tourism in central Tunisia. It is a correspondingly high national priority. Preliminary studies had already been started in 2015 and Tractebel has been involved in the project since 2020 – among other things as a contact partner for the KfW, which is providing funding for the project. The design phase is due for completion in 2021.

In a Joint Venture with STUDI International, a consultancy company located in Tunis, experts from Tractebel are working, among other things, on studies for the technical designs and detailed draft plans. These are to show how unused water from the northern area of the country can be most effectively transferred to the centre of Tunisia. In order to develop innovative and sustainable water infrastructure projects, Tractebel is drawing on the inter-disciplinary skills of its project teams.

Comprehensive package of services

It is anticipated that the project will involve around 300 km of transfer pipelines with reservoirs and new pumping stations. In the first step the team is carrying out an analysis and comparison of four alternative transfer options (routes). The most promising option will then be examined in terms of demonstrating its technical and economic feasibility on the basis of detailed designs. The focus is to revolve around solutions for increased water storage and transfer capacities. These could be achieved by the construction and improvement of various dams, transfer pipelines and canals, pumping stations, intermediate reservoirs and hydraulic structures as well as small hydropower plants.

The range of services provided by Tractebel includes topographical and geotechnical field work, technical due diligence, social and environmental impact assessments and socio-economic studies.

More information: Water as a precious resource in Tunisia, video by DW news

The Mellah Reservoir is one of the infrastructure projects that falls within the remit of the study by the Tractebel experts.

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