Water resources are key for the development and the fight against poverty in the OSS zone of action. Since its inception, OSS has noticed a gap in water resources knowledge.
Hence, the Organization’s approach has initially focused on enhancing the knowledge of groundwater resources (notably shared groundwater) that are less known compared to surface waters.
A number of studies were conducted on the North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (SASS - shared by Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia), the Iullemeden Aquifer System (shared by Mali, Niger and Nigeria), the Iullemeden/Taoudeni-Tanezrouft Aquifer System GICRESAIT (shared by Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania), and the aquifer systems of the IGAD region. A second phase of the study focused on examining the interactions between the groundwaters and the surface waters of the Iullemeden/Taoudeni-Tanezrouft Aquifer System.
Knowledge enhancement concerned both the qualitative and quantitative aspects and included the creation of common databases and the establishment of Geographic Information Systems and hydro-dynamic models.
Despite all the progress and achievement realized, the level of water resources knowledge in the OSS zone of action remains insufficient compared to developed countries. As the sustainable management of these water resources requires a deeper understanding of these resources, water monitoring, measuring, and calculation systems should be further improved and more fine-tuned knowledge should be acquired.
Important to note that other basic studies should also be conducted on the Senegalo-Mauritanian transboundary Aquifer System and the Lake Chad Basin.