The Education, Research, Society, and Policy Nexus of Sustainable Water Use in Semiarid Regions—A Case Study from Tunisia

  • Clemens Mader
  • Borhane Mahjoub
  • Karsten Breßler
  • Sihem Jebari
  • Klaus Kümmerer
  • Müfit Bahadir
  • Anna-Theresa Leitenberger
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The present study analyzes the interrelations of the education, research, society, and policy nexus on sustainable water use and agriculture in semiarid regions of Tunisia. The selected region of Tunisia is one of the most water-stressed regions in northern Africa, strongly exporting fruits and vegetables to European mainland whereas at the same time strongly lacking water resources and reducing production of food for its own growing population. Water scarcity is the major problem in the agriculture of semiarid regions. Along with the population growth, water resources (qualitatively and quantitatively) for food production is exposed to severe strains and has become an important topic for science and politics as well as for the general public in these countries as well as globally. Natural water resources in Tunisia are faced with serious problems related to their quantity and quality (Mekki et al. 2013). Only 8.4 % of the total shallow groundwater has salinity levels that do not exceed 1.5 g/L (Benjemaa et al. 1999). Thus, there is also a lack of fresh drinking water for the population, caused by the extensive use of deep and fossil ground water by agriculture. Due to the lack of conventional water resources, water of marginal quality is used for agricultural irrigation.


Education Tunisia Society Policy Semiarid regions 



The authors thank the German Academic Exchange Service for the funding of the first German-Tunisian fact finding mission on “Sustainable Agriculture in Semi-Arid Regions” SASAR held in December 2013 in Tunis, Tunisia. S. Jebari acknowledges helpful funding from the European project BeWater (Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change) BEWATER project is funded by the European Commission, 7th Framework programme, Science in Society, Grant agreement Nr.: 612385.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clemens Mader
    • 1
    • 6
  • Borhane Mahjoub
    • 2
  • Karsten Breßler
    • 3
  • Sihem Jebari
    • 4
  • Klaus Kümmerer
    • 1
  • Müfit Bahadir
    • 5
  • Anna-Theresa Leitenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Leuphana University of LüneburgLüneburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-MeriemChott-Meriem, SousseTunisia
  3. 3.Institute of Social SciencesTU BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  4. 4.National Research Institute for Rural Engineering, Waters, and Forestry (INRGREF)ArianaTunisia
  5. 5.Institute of Environmental and Sustainable ChemistryTU BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  6. 6.Sustainability TeamUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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