Consultation Mechanism of the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS): 14th session of the Permanent Technical Committee, January 7, 2021


The coordination unit of the Consultation Mechanism of the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS), common to 3 countries (Algeria, Libya & Tunisia), held the 14th session of the Permanent Technical Committee.
Mr. Hussein TALLOUA, Consultation Mechanism (CM) Coordinator and Mr. Nabil BEN KHATRA, Executive Secretary of the OSS gave the workshop kick-off opening speeches.

The meeting was held semi-face-to-face in the OSS premises on the zoom virtual platform and was attended by Mr. Lotfi FRIGUI, Director General of Water Resources (Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Marine Fisheries - Tunisia) and Mr. Omar SALEM, GWRA Chairperson (General Water Resources Authority - Libya).

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the overall activities, including the NWSAS database updating, as well as the Mechanism's 2020 financial situation. Besides, discussions focused on the 2021 work plan and the possibilities of using remote sensing to estimate withdrawals in the NWSAS.

It is worth recalling that the NWSAS Consultation Mechanism (common to Algeria, Libya & Tunisia) was created in 2006, under the OSS impetus and is proceeding with the efforts to provide support and consolidate cooperation between the three countries. It is one of the rare groundwater management mechanisms in the world.
The Mechanism program includes several joint scientific and technical activities: updating the database and monitoring indicators for the management of the three countries shared resource. It is headed by an OSS-located coordinator appointed by the countries on a rotating biannual basis. The Consultation Mechanism leadership is presently secured by Libya in the person of Dr. Hussein TALLOUA for a two-year term (July 2019 - July 2021).
The North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) covers a one (1) million km2 area and is home to strategic water reserves that help meet domestic and agricultural needs as well as the development of the region.