Advertisement

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
Chapter
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Education Tunisia Society Policy Semiarid regions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Anderson J, Roseboom J, Weidemann Associates Inc (2013) Towards re-engaging in supporting national agricultural research systems in the developing world. USAID, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Benjemaa F, Houcine I, Chahbani MH (1999) Potential of renewable energy development for water desalination in Tunisia. Renew Energy 18:331–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berndtsso R, Jebari S, Hashemi H, Wessels J (2014) Traditional water management techniques—do they have a role in post Arab Spring Middle East? Hydrol Sci J forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  4. DGRE (Direction Générale des Ressources en Eau) (1983) Carte du réseau hydrographique Tunisien, échelle: 1/1 000 000. Reproduction de l’Office de la Topographie et de la Cartographie, TunisGoogle Scholar
  5. El Amami S (1984) Les aménagements hydrauliques traditionnels de Tunisie. Centre de Recherche du Génie Rural. Ministère de l’Agriculture, Publication of the Research Center of Rural Engineering, Tunis, TunisiaGoogle Scholar
  6. El Kharraz J, El-Sadek A, Ghaffour N, Mino E (2012) Water scarcity and drought in WANA countries. Procedia Eng 33:14–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ennabli N (1993) Les aménagements hydrauliques et hydro-agricoles en Tunisie. Institut National Agronomique de Tunis. Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Hydrauliques, TunisGoogle Scholar
  8. FAO (2013) SAFA—Sustainability assessment of food and agriculture systems. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  9. Jebari S, Berndtsson R (2013) Tunisian water resources policy at a cross road. Study presented at the ISA Panel: water justice and stakeholder participation. 54th ISA annual convention. San Francisco, California 3–6 AprilGoogle Scholar
  10. Jebari S, Berndtsson R, Bahri A (2014) Traditional water collecting systems in Tunisia, challenges and way forward. Middle East Critique (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  11. Kanzari S, Hachicha M, Bouhilila R, Battle-Sales J (2011) Characterization and modeling of water movement and salt transfer in a semi-arid region of Tunisia (Bou Hajla, Kairouan)—salinization risk of soils and aquifers. Comput Electron Agric 86:34–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mader C (2013) Sustainability process assessment on transformative potentials: the Graz model for integrative development. J Clean Prod 49:54–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mader C, Scott G, Razak D (2013) Effective change management, governance and policy for sustainability transformation in higher education. Sustain Acc, Manage Policy J 4(3):264–284Google Scholar
  14. Mahjoub B (2012) Environmental education for sustainable development in Tunisian Universities: raising awareness and improving skills. In: International conference on emerging pollutants in the mediterranean basin—setting the bridges. EMPOWER project, DAAD Hammamet, Tunisia, 10–16 Sept 2012Google Scholar
  15. Mekki I, Jacob F, Marlet S, Ghazouani W (2013) Management of groundwater resources in relation to oasis sustainability: the case of Nefzawa region in Tunisia. J Environ Manage 121:142–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. PNUD-FAO (1991) TUN. 86-020- Rapport d’évaluation sur les techniques de CES en Tunisie. Direction de Conservation des Eaux et des Sols. Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Hydrauliques, République TunisienneGoogle Scholar
  17. Pohl C (2008) From science to policy through transdisciplinary research. Environ Sci Policy 11(1):46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Scholz R, Tietje O (2002) Embedded case study methods—integrating quantitative and qualitative knowledge. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  19. Scoullos MJ (1998) Environment and society: education and public awareness for sustainability. In: Proceedings of the Thessaloniki international conference. UNESCO and Government of Greece, 8–12 Dec 1997Google Scholar
  20. Scoullos M, Malotidi V (2005) Manuel sur les méthodes utilisées pour l’Education a l’Environment et l’Education pour le Dévelopement Durable. MIO-ECSDE, Athens, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  21. TKWB (2007) International centre for traditional knowledge against desertification and for a sustainable future in the Euro-Mediterranean. Retrieved on 7 March 2014 from Traditional Knowledge World Bank: http://www.tkwb.org/web/?page_id=4&language=it
  22. United Nations (1992) Agenda 21, United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf, accessed 17.10.2014
  23. UNECE (2012) Learning for the future—competences in education for sustainable development. United Nations Economic Council for Europe, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  24. UNEP (2010) Africa water atlas, division of early warning and assessment (DEWA). United Nations Environmental Programme, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  25. UNESCO (2013) 37 C/57 proposal for a global action programme on education for sustainable development as follow-up to the united nations decade of education for sustainable development (DESD) after 2014. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, ParisGoogle Scholar
  26. United Nations General Assembly (2012) A/res/66/288 the future we want. UN, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Zafar A, Borgardi J, Braeulel Ch, Chasek P, Niamir-Fuller M, Gabriels D, King C, Knabe F, Kowsar A, Salem B, Schaaf T, Shepherd G, Thomas R (2007) Overcoming one of the greatest environmental challenges of our times: re-thinking policies to cope with desertification. A policy brief based on the joint international conference: desertification and the international policy imperative, Algiers, Algeria. United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health, Hamilton, Canada, 17–19 Dec 2006Google Scholar
  28. Zeng Z, Liou J, Savenije H (2013) A simple approach to assess water scarcity integrating water quantity and quality. Ecol Ind 34:441–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations