Conflicts and water governance challenge in irrigated areas of semi-arid regions

  • Jamel Ben NasrEmail author
  • Mohamed Salah Bachta
EMCEI 2017
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Water resources and water management for environmental integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region


Agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions faces two of the principal global challenges: sustainability and water scarcity in the context of climate changes. To overcome the water scarcity constraint, Tunisia adopted different strategies and policies. Since 1989, it has embarked on a policy of decentralization and participatory water management in irrigated areas “IA.” This policy has led to the state disengagement in favor of collective water management. Since then, water management becomes a task of irrigator associations. These associations have experienced a series of transformations ranging from “collective interest associations: CIA” to the current form “Development Agricultural Groups: GDAs.” In spite of these institutional changes, GDAs are suffering from several problems impeding their functioning such as budgetary deficit, conflicts between stakeholders, leaving of irrigated activity by some farmers, and inequality. The current situation of GDA and most IA hypothesizes the existence of local governance problems; these governance problems are causing a performance decrease in IA. The analysis of the interdependence between governance and performance of irrigation water management, in Nadhour IA, is the main aim of this paper. To conduct this analysis, the strategic analysis approach was adopted. Assuming that IA forms a concrete action system, the analysis of structured games between actors allowed assessing their power, convergence, divergence, and ambivalence. Results confirm the hypothesis of a significant effect of governance problems, including political source, on the performance of water management in IA.


Actor’s power Collective action Governance Performance Water management 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsNational Agronomic Institute of TunisiaTunisTunisia

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