A review: saltwater intrusion in North Africa’s coastal areas—current state and future challenges


North Africa coastline extends on 8955 km from Mauritania to Egypt. These areas continue to experience population and economic growth. North Africa coastal aquifers were exposed to an increase in groundwater salinity and seawater intrusion, which may contribute to economic crisis as a result of freshwater resources crisis. This work aims to explore the status and a holistic comprehending review of saltwater intrusion extent in the region and future challenges. Results on seawater intrusion in North Africa, from published papers and grey literature, show a several efforts have been made in understanding this phenomenon and developing management strategies in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania. The most method used is geochemical data and statistical analysis. Some studies linked geochemical data with geophysical techniques, geographical information system (GIS), and GALDIT index. Seawater intrusion varies from one country to another according to the aquifer hydrogeological settings, abstraction rates and aquifer morphology, climate change, urban expansion, and economic development. North Africa countries, such as Libya and Mauritania, need, for instance, more expertise and experience on the part of local researchers. The challenge of inadequate data and a need for a more robust data inventory was stressed. This paper recommends developing and building scientific capabilities in regional and international partnerships, and adopting rational water governance for sustainable development.

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Data and materials availability

The data supporting this review are from previously reported studies, which have been cited in this manuscript.


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Agoubi, B. A review: saltwater intrusion in North Africa’s coastal areas—current state and future challenges. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 17029–17043 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12741-z

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  • Groundwater
  • Coastal aquifer
  • Saltwater intrusion
  • Salinity
  • North Africa