National water security–Case study of an arid country, Tunisia

  • Ghislain de MarsilyEmail author
Book Review


This is a short review of a book recently published by Springer entitled: National water security–Case study of an arid country, Tunisia; by Mustapha Besbes, Jamel Chahed, and Abdelkader Hamdane. It shows that around 40% of the water consumed in Tunisia is imported as virtual water, used in other countries to produce goods. Water security is thus strongly linked to food security, but includes protection of the resource from pollution, accidents, malicious acts, and anticipation of extreme hydrologic events. A detailed analysis is made of water consumed by agriculture for food production by both rain-fed and irrigated crops, from which a surprising conclusion can be drawn: the major part of Tunisian food production is provided by rain-fed agriculture. Therefore, optimizing the yield of rain-fed agriculture becomes a priority. Alternative water resources are also discussed, as well as water governance. Results can be integrated into the policy choices related to sustainable water management which should be made in the future in Tunisia, and other regions where water is scarce.


Water resources Water demand Water scarcity Arid zone Blue water Green water Virtual water Food production Irrigation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French Academy of Sciences and Foreign Member, US National Academy of EngineeringSorbonne UniversityParisFrance

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