The use of smart waters is one of the solutions to cope with the scarcity of water in Tunisia, according to the results of the first phase of a study conducted by the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies (ITES), said academic and researcher in geological sciences Mohamed Haithem Msadek.
Speaking at a meeting on the strategic direction of water resources management, Msadek pointed out that smart water technologies enable the management of water resources through the use of satellite-related digital equipment to promote instant registration of these resources in Tunisia.
In this context, he spoke of the possibility of installing this equipment in dams, distribution and irrigation channels and household meters in order to collect the necessary data, detect failures and intervene to solve problems related to flow, theft of irrigation water or loss of water in the canals.
ITES had launched, in February 2018, the development of this study by 4 researchers to diagnose the current situation of water resources in Tunisia and identify issues and solutions for better exploitation of resources. This study will be submitted to the Prime Ministry.
In a second stage of the study, the centres of strategic studies in the world (Morocco, France, India and Iran) will be contacted to expand the database of research, to integrate young academics to share expertise and build partnerships with research centres in the field of water in Tunisia, such as the Higher Institute of Water Sciences and Techniques of Gabes.
He said that the weakness of surface water resources that evaporate with the effect of rising temperatures and the increase in the salinity of water (in dams and hill lakes …) are the main problems facing the country.
The academic and researcher added that the increase in groundwater salinity (2.1 billion cubic meters) is a hindrance, since these are not renewable in the South because of the depth and geological nature of the groundwater of the region.
In this context, he proposed to identify alternatives to conventional water resources, including desalination of sea water with a salinity of over 37 grams / litre and desalination of groundwater (15 grams of salt / litre).
Geological researcher Alaa Ayari emphasised the need to implement the national water technology development programme, by moving towards the use of non-conventional resources such as treated water, given their availability.
Ayari stressed that the flow of large Wadis in Tunisia (Medjerda, Mellegue …) is threatened by the construction of dams.
He recalled the increase in water pressure and demand from 1,870 million cubic metres in 1990 to 2,700 million cubic metres in 2016, reaching 2,770 million cubic metres in 2030.
Director General of ITES Neji Jelloul stressed that the country will face a real crisis, namely the weakness of water resources, besides the food security crisis.
He underlined the lack of confidence in Tunisia on several levels, such as citizens’ suspicions about the quality of drinking water distributed by SONEDE.
The achievement of sustainable development can only take place by providing 1,000 cubic metres of drinking water per person, while the Tunisian currently benefits from only 450 cubic meters.
-Tunisia News Agency