The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (SASS) is a basin which extends over 1,000,000 km2 and is shared by three countries (Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya). The NWSAS water reserves are considerable yet generally of quasi fossil nature.
Surface and ground waters are a strategic asset for the West Africa sub-region and play a decisive role in the economic and social development in the countries of the region. Further studies should be conducted on the Iullemeden and Taoudeni/Tanezrouft Aquifer Systems (ITTAS) and how they function in order to support the development efforts of the ITTAS countries. Greater knowledge of the hydrological connection between the aquifer systems and the Niger River is a prerequisite to improving the management of the systems’ surface and groundwater resources.
The groundwater resource of the Iullemeden-Taoudeni Tanezrouft Aquifer System shared by 7 countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria) is increasingly threatened in terms of quantity and quality. The GICRESAIT regional project "Integrated and concerted water resources management of the Iullemeden, Taoudeni/Tanezrouft and Niger River Aquifer Systems" (2010-2016) assessed the potential resources and ensured its monitoring and vulnerability to climate change.
This atlas is meant to be used by decision-makers, development partners and the general public.
The purpose of the atlas, containing some 30 maps and graphs derived from an OSS regional study on the Iullemeden, Taoudeni/Tanezrouft Aquifer System, is to provide information on the availability and use of water resources in this region of seven countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria).
Serving as a driving and facilitating force, OSS, in carrying out the SASS Programme, relies first and foremost on the expertise available in specialised, well experienced institutions of the three countries as well as on broad international partnership. The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System, (NWSAS), shared by Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, has considerable water reserves that cannot be totally exploited and are only very partially renewed. The NWSAS area over a million km2 and is composed of two major aquifers layers, the Continental Intercalary and the Terminal Complex.