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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 99, Issue 1–3, pp 127–140 | Cite as

An Integrated Approach for Impact Assessment of Water Harvesting Techniques in Dry Areas: The Case of Oued Oum Zessar Watershed (Tunisia)

  • M. Ouessar
  • M. Sghaier
  • N. Mahdhi
  • F. Abdelli
  • J. De Graaff
  • H. Chaieb
  • H. Yahyaoui
  • D. Gabriels
Article

Abstract.

In the arid regions of Tunisia, considerable investments are being made to maintain the old water harvesting techniques and introduce new ones to capture the scarce amount of rainwater (100 mm to 230 mm annually) for agricultural and domestic purposes. However, no detailed assessment of the multiple effects and the costs and benefits of these techniques have been made so far. This paper summarizes the results of an in depth investigation of the multiple impacts (runoff mobilization, ground water recharge, agro-socio-economic impacts) of the water harvesting works undertaken in the watershed of oued Oum Zessar (southeastern Tunisia). The importance of interdisciplinary and integrated approaches was revealed through this detailed impact assessment and economic evaluation. In fact, the profitability of the water harvesting works depends largely on the criteria chosen. However, further refinements are needed to better include all possible impacts (positive and negative) that occur as a result of the installation of the water harvesting structures.

arid lands economics impact assessment Tunisia water harvesting 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ouessar
    • 1
  • M. Sghaier
    • 1
  • N. Mahdhi
    • 1
  • F. Abdelli
    • 1
  • J. De Graaff
    • 2
  • H. Chaieb
    • 3
  • H. Yahyaoui
    • 3
  • D. Gabriels
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut des Régions Arides (IRA)MédenineTunisia
  2. 2.Erosion and SWC GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Direction Générale des Ressources en EauMinistère de l’AgricultureTunisTunisia
  4. 4.Department of Soil Management and Soil CareGhent UniversityGentBelgium

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