Technical ReportPDF Available

Groundwater governance in the Middle East and North Africa region

Authors:
A preview of the PDF is not available
... In Turkey, groundwater irrigation cooperatives are responsible for 74% of the groundwater used for irrigation, over approximately 684,000 ha [36] and so are a portion of GDAs in Tunisia. Egypt and Morocco also have associations and cooperatives managing collective wells [107]. Spontaneous private initiatives by collectives to invest in shared wells can also be found in most countries [107]. ...
... Egypt and Morocco also have associations and cooperatives managing collective wells [107]. Spontaneous private initiatives by collectives to invest in shared wells can also be found in most countries [107]. In Europe, Spain stands out as having the highest occurrence of groundwater collectives [108]. ...
... In their conclusion, they have emphasized on information gaps, dependency, and impacts of groundwater use, inattention to the threats of overexploitation, diversity of paradigms for managing groundwater, etc., Varady et al. (2015) emphasized on the enabling environment in terms of different issues like information, legislative and regulatory frameworks, governmental and non-governmental organizations or groups, awareness raising, communication, multi-level activities (policy, strategy and operation). The reports by World Bank (Wijnen et al. 2012), GWP (Shah 2014), OECD (OECD 2015), and IWMI (Closas and Molle 2016) are the other ground-breaking studies in this subject which all show the importance of governance in the effectiveness of management efforts. While all these types of studies have taken a general perspective toward groundwater governance, the CIT tries to focus on governance with regard to a specific policy goal; so as said, the groundwater conservation policy can experience a specific condition of governance setting which might be different from the one for rain harvesting to recharge the groundwater resources or avoiding water-logging. ...
Article
Full-text available
The groundwater system in the Rafsanjan aquifer perpetuated sustainably for decades before 1950s; however, its groundwater resources have been overexploited in the recent decades. In this paper, we aim to investigate the water governance system to understand the reasons behind the ongoing overexploitation. Sustainability processes are considered a policy implementation problematic. As such, we employ the contextual interaction theory as a policy implementation framework to assess the groundwater governance as part of the context for the conservation policy. Data for this qualitative research were gathered from legal texts, articles, technical reports, and multiple interviews with authorities and groundwater users. The assessment results revealed that the poor quality of the governance system is central to the ineffectiveness of the conservation policies. Findings of this paper can be relied on to devise tools to underpin an appropriate context to sustain groundwater resources.
... This finding contradicts with the fact that addressing issues of power, equity, and justice is becoming increasingly important in tackling the water governance challenges that are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, industrialization, and urbanization (Perreault 2014, Perreault et al. 2018, Zwarteveen and Boelens 2014. Moreover, such issues have crucial effects in less democratized countries in the global South (Allan 2007, Zeitoun et al. 2012, Molle et al. 2018. Thus, the third and fourth future research areas are highly interrelated. ...
Article
Full-text available
Governance is key to tackling water challenges and transforming water management under the increasing pressures of competing water uses and climate change. Diverse water governance regimes have evolved in different countries and regions to regulate the development and management of water resources and the provision of water services. Scholars and policy analysts have been comparing these water governance regimes to analyze elements and processes, to assess performance, or to draw lessons. Although the number of such studies has increased since the 1980s, no comprehensive synthesis exists. We present such a synthesis by conducting a systematic review of the emerging field of comparative water governance studies, and we critically reflect on how water governance is defined, conceptualized, and assessed in different contexts. Based on the resultant insights, we identify four areas for future research: (1) improving the balance between small-, medium-, and large-N studies that are used in comparative studies of water governance; (2) conducting longitudinal comparisons of water governance to identify temporal governance trends and patterns; (3) expanding the geographical coverage of the comparisons to include underrepresented countries and regions, focusing more broadly on the global South; and (4) addressing the issues of justice, equity, and power, which are becoming increasingly important in tackling the water governance challenges that are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, industrialization, and urbanization.
... In Algeria, the monitoring and management of groundwater resources at national level is under the authority of Ministry of Water Resources (Benblidia et al., 2011). Based on Water Law 05-12 of 2005, the local governor is in charge of regulating wells through the granting of permits (Imache, 2014). The 2005 Water law introduced the establishment of protection areas where new wells should be banned and active ones should have an abstraction limit in order to protect drinking water supply (Algérie, 2005). ...
... Our conclusion is in line with the analysis of the case in Morocco presented by Molle [33], who concludes that the marginal value of irrigation water is far higher than its costs to the farmer and, as is commonly found in many field studies, overly high prices may also push farmers to shift to groundwater, especially where aquifers are shallow. In fact, a recent worldwide review has found no evidence from any country in the world that water pricing has ever been successful at reducing pressures on the resource [34]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Deficit irrigation (DI) is an agricultural practice in which the volume of irrigation waterapplied during the crop cycle is below the irrigation requirements for maximum production, the aimof which is to increase irrigation water productivity. Most research on this technique has focusedon agronomic strategies while the economic and environmental consequences have received littleattention. This study aims to shed some light on this matter and presents preliminary resultsregarding the implications of DI with respect to the sustainable use of water resources. The analysisis based on the DPSIR analytical framework (Driving force/Pressure/State/Impact/Response) andthe microeconomics of DI. The case study focuses on intensive olive groves in the Guadalquivirriver basin in Southern Spain (where olive cultivation accounts for 50% of the total irrigated area).The analysis shows that the widespread use of DI practices, which is the farmers' response to adecreasing net water supply and falling farm incomes (driving force) in the context of a mature watereconomy, may help to break the DPSIR chain of causality, provided that there are restrictions on anyexpansion in irrigated area. They can, thus, play a role in achieving sustainable water use. Conversely,demand and supply (regulator) responses involving raising the price of water would lead to higherpressures on the resource and represent a negative driving force in our DPSIR model.
Article
In southeastern Morocco, irrigated agriculture is expanding rapidly in a desert area formerly characterized by oasis agriculture and livestock grazing. The 2008 Green Morocco Plan (GMP) is fueling this expansion with incentives encouraging agricultural growth and foreign investment. Despite the GMP’s green, poverty fighting claims, job opportunities are low-paying and unreliable and water supply is decreasing. Outsider investors and farmers benefit from free groundwater and cheap local labor, leaving locals to deal with the long-term ecological damage. This research utilizes a mixed methods approach including document analysis, semi-structured interviews, household surveys, and a roundtable discussion. It examines GMP implementation in Boudnib as a continuation of historical, state-managed water policies that emphasize technological fixes and ignore associated social and environmental costs. It calls for action on the part of those in power to prevent the deepening of existing inequalities and threats to the livelihoods and environment of already vulnerable populations.
Chapter
India is the largest user of groundwater in the world, with an atomistic resource development paradigm. The millions of groundwater users across the diverse hydrogeological settings of the country have led to an overarching dependency on the resource for agricultural livelihoods, drinking water security and also meeting and increasing industrial and urban water demand. Increasing dependency has led to growing exploitation trends, often with concurrent contamination effects and complex competition around groundwater resources. Groundwater management efforts are emerging where science and participation of communities have led to management of aquifers as CPRs. However, such management has also revealed the urgent need for a groundwater governance agenda which tackles the problems through effective amalgamation of hydrogeology, stakeholder engagement and institutional arrangements. The article discusses the framework for an integrated groundwater governance paradigm in India that follows a bottom-up approach through decentralisation of the principles of governance and some examples of how this is evolving in conjunction with participatory groundwater management.
Article
Full-text available
In the Indian water policy, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is considered as one of the best supply side water management options to face groundwater depletion. It is expected to optimize the resource as well as attain environmental sustainability and meet water demands and social justice. It is also expected to be implemented with a paradigmatic shift in water management. From policy to practices, at the local level, numerous recharge structures exist, are built or planned and reveal controversial implementation. With a socio-historical approach, our paper analyses the trajectory of MAR implementation in the Pondicherry Region (South India). Through interviews and observations, the trajectories of two local projects are scrutinized, The Tank Rehabilitation Programs in Pondicherry district and a recharge shaft in Kiliyanur. Stakeholders' strategies and values regarding MAR are analysed and how local appropriation leads to adaptation and diversion. Finally, there is no paradigmatic shift going with MAR implementation. Instead, MAR is shown as a consensual policy because it is a possible compromise between groundwater conservation, optimization of the resource, satisfaction of the users and social justice, but controversial positions and oppositions should be acknowledged within implementation. The paper discusses opposed conceptions of MAR: participatory vs. expert driven, demand vs. supply driven and traditional vs. modern.
Article
Full-text available
Depuis août 1986, le gouvernement tunisien a adopté un programme d’ajustement structurel comprenant un vaste arsenal de réformes économiques, toutes de facture libérale, qui ont radicalement changé les conditions de production et de reproduction des exploitations agricoles familiales. Un processus de différenciation-exclusion est désormais à l’œuvre, avec comme conséquence une tendance à la marginalisation, voire à la destruction, de la petite agriculture familiale. Les changements intervenus dans la politique d’irrigation et dans l’accès au foncier sont, en grande partie, responsables de ce processus. C’est notamment le cas dans la région de Sidi Bouzid, où la libéralisation de l’accès à l’eau et au foncier a accru la pression sur les ressources et entraîné des phénomènes de concurrence entre les exploitations, conduisant les moins performantes d’entre elles à abandonner la pratique de l’irrigation. The appropriation of hydraulic resources and processes of exclusion in the Sidi Bouzid region (central Tunisia) In August 1986, the Tunisian government implemented a structural adjustment program covering a vast array of broadly liberal economic reforms that have radically changed the conditions governing the production and reproduction of family farms. A process of differentiation and exclusion has emerged, resulting in the marginalization and even destruction of small-scale family farming. This process is largely the result of recent changes to irrigation policy and the laws governing access to land. A good example of this is the Sidi Bouzid region, where the liberalization of access to water and land has increased the pressure on resources and led to increased competition, causing the least efficient farms to abandon irrigation altogether
Article
Irrigated agriculture in Jordan's highlands relies on overexploited groundwater. Drops in water tables and water quality, but also tougher policy measures by the government, threaten the sustainability of this activity which has long thrived on lax law enforcement and cheap desert land. This paper is based on field work in two locations of Azraq groundwater basin [around the Azraq oasis and in the northern part (Mafraq)], and first presents farm typologies which show the variability of farm gross margins and the contrast between the two zones. While Mafraq stands for capital-intensive fruit-tree cultivation on legal land/wells, Azraq's agriculture is largely based on olive cultivation and wells that are either illegal or granted permits with higher block tariffs, and has a return that is only one tenth of Mafraq's. The paper reviews the constraints and changes in land, energy, water, labor and input costs and reflects on their bearing on current dynamics and future prospects. While Mafraq is found to be largely immune to policy changes and resilient to foreseeable changes in factor prices or markets, Azraq's future is threatened by various vulnerabilities, including salinization of groundwater, rising energy and labor costs that, in the long run, are likely to be overcome only by farmers emulating the Mafraq intensification model, or accepting temporary losses in the hope of a future legalization of land and wells. Solar energy now emerges as a trump card, in particular for illegal farms which, on the other hand, are challenged by recent tough water pricing regulations that are shown to make them unprofitable. The government's resolve in enforcing these regulation is put to test and will largely decide the future of Azraq's agriculture.
Article
Groundwater resources in semi-arid areas and especially in the Mediterranean face a growing demand for irrigated agriculture and, to a lesser extent, for domestic uses. Consequently, groundwater reserves are affected and water-table drops are widely observed. This leads to strong constraints on groundwater access for farmers, while managers worry about the future evolution of the water resources. A common problem for building proper groundwater management plans is the difficulty in assessing individual groundwater withdrawals at regional scale. Predicting future trends of these groundwater withdrawals is even more challenging. The basic question is how to assess the water budget variables and their evolution when they are deeply linked to human activities, themselves driven by countless factors (access to natural resources, public policies, market, etc.). This study provides some possible answers by focusing on the assessment of groundwater withdrawals for irrigated agriculture at three sites in North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria). Efforts were made to understand the different features that influence irrigation practices, and an adaptive user-oriented methodology was used to monitor groundwater withdrawals. For each site, different key factors affecting the regional groundwater abstraction and its past evolution were identified by involving farmers’ knowledge. Factors such as farmer access to land and groundwater or development of public infrastructures (electrical distribution network) are crucial to decode the results of well inventories and assess the regional groundwater abstraction and its future trend. This leads one to look with caution at the number of wells cited in the literature, which could be oversimplified.