Publications

OSS
978-9973-856-87-6
2015

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.

With the aim of enhancing sustainable development in the region, OSS in partnership with the three countries concerned, conducted, in a first phase, several studies that allowed a better hydraulic knowledge of the basin. However, given the growing water needs, notably relative to the agricultural sector, and the necessity to preserve a little renewable resource, OSS decided to undertake a study on water valorization in the basin.

The study was structured around two components:

  • A socio-economic component focusing on analyzing the operation modes of agricultural systems and especially on understanding the irrigator’s behavior by conducting several surveys realized with almost 3,000 farmers. This analysis enabled to identify the main constraints to water productivity, to measure their economic impacts and to elaborate operational recommendations for a better valorization of the basin’s resources.In addition, a hydro-economic model was developed with the objective of providing decision makers with an efficient decision-support tool to help them develop and implement agricultural development policies.
  • A second “demonstration pilots” component concerned the implementation of six demonstration NORTH-WESTERN SAHARA AQUIFER SYSTEMpilots by the farmers themselves dealing with different issues and problems faced by the three countries. The technical innovations introduced at the pilots level aimed at intensifying cropping systems, saving and valorizing water. The results obtained following two agricultural seasons helped confirm the existence of efficient technical solutions for the renovation and implementation of agricultural systems at the farm level.

The results obtained by the study allowed to conclude a number of recommendations for a sustainable development as well as for a better preservation of the basin’s resource.

SASS
For a Better Valorization of Irrigation Water in the SASS Basin
Water Resources Management
Etudes & Rapports
OSS
978-9938-933-06-2
2017

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.

It has been taken up in the GICRESAIT project, which was funded by the AWF and FFEM (total amount 1,728,000 €), and implemented by OSS from 2010 to 2016, with the participation of seven countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria).

Project outputs are :

  • Signifcant increase in knowledge about the Iullemeden and Taoudeni/Tanezrouft water resources, which together form a single transboundary aquifer system 
  • Identifcation of areas with a major groundwater potential
  • Creation of a regional database
  • Study of themes such as hydrogeology, land cover, aquifer recharge, piezometry, vulnerability to climate change, water-table pollution
  • Facilitate the adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding and a road map for the creation of a Consultation Mechanism for the joint management of the ITTAS shared groundwater resources.
GICRESAIT
GICRESAIT | Summary report
Water Resources Management
Plaidoyer
OSS
978-9938-933-02-4
2017

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 work has highlighted the importance of the resource with no less than 7 high potential areas, and its low vulnerability to climate change. This should be part of the solution to the major challenges of groundwater mobilization in the countries concerned and help them achieve the main objectives of sustainable development.

GICRESAIT
GICRESAIT | Note for decision-makers
Water Resources Management
Plaidoyer
OSS
978-9938-933-05-5
2017

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).
The atlas also offers the reader illustrations concerning water and the strategic role it plays in transboundary cooperation, food security, health, and socio-economic development to help cope with global changes.

GICRESAIT
GICRESAIT Atlas
Water Resources Management
Atlas
OSS
978-9973-856-64-7
2011

Following an international competitive bidding process by Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), SEREFACO Consultants Limited was contracted to undertake this assignment on “Mapping, Assessment and Management of Transboundary Water Resources in the IGAD Sub-region Project Covering Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda”. The main objective of this consultancy service was to assess and analyze the water resources, socio-economic and environmental condition of the sub region and come up with a set of strategy, recommendations, and action plans to enable member states to implement and operate an integrated trans-boundary water resources management process. The project focused on acquiring data, information and knowledge to support more sustainable shared water resources management policies and strategies at national and sub-regional levels.

This report aims at presenting the major findings of the assignment and the proposed strategic recommendations and action plans thereof for moving forward with the implementation and operation of IWRM processes in the IGAD Sub region. In particular, the report includes:

A formulation of strategies for enhancing regional cooperation;
A framework and guidelines for regional procedures and coordination mechanisms for information production, dissemination and sharing;
An assessment of water resources in the IGAD Sub-region;
A socioeconomic assessment of water demand and use in the IGAD Sub-region;
An assessment of the key environmental issues affecting the IGAD countries;
Development of a regional database and GIS;
An elaboration of medium and long term capacity building strategies for planning and managing trans-boundary programmes;
The development of a road map for establishing a Transboundary River Basin Organization.
This project was financed by African Water Facility grant made available to IGAD for undertaking the study of the trans-boundary water resources of the sub-region excluding the Nile basin which is currently covered by the program of Nile Basin Initiative. OSS was the Client on behalf of IGAD in this assignment

IGAD
Overview & general recommendations
Water Resources Management
Studies & Reports
OSS
978-9973-856-56-2
2011

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis recommended by the Global Environment Fund has been applied to transboundary waters of the Iullemeden Aquifer System (IAS) shared by Mali, Niger and Nigeria. It allowed identifying three major transboundary risks namely (1) the reduction of resource availability, (2) degradation of water quality, and (3) the impact of variability / climate change.

Recognizing the need for a regional approach for shared groundwater management to face those transboundary risks for which efforts of one country cannot find a sustainable solution, the three countries committed themselves in a process of joint water resources management. Through this process, they plan to mitigate the negative impacts of these risks on their shared groundwater resources.

Through this process, policy and strategy elements for mitigating these risks have been developed as well as communication tools in order to promote an early warning system, a participatory approach to better manage these risks, and finally a mechanism for monitoring transboundary water resources. A Memorandum of Understanding with its roadmap was adopted by the three countries for establishing a consultation mechanism, a legal consultation for a joint management and equitable and rational of their common resources.

GICRESAIT
The consultative framework for managing transboundary risks
Water Resources Management
Studies & Reports
OSS
978-9973-856-29-6
2008
GICRESAIT
Iullemeden Aquifer System
Water Resources Management
Advocacy
OSS
978-9973-856-54-8
2011

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis recommended by the Global Environment Fund has been applied to transboundary waters of the Iullemeden Aquifer System (IAS) shared by Mali, Niger and Nigeria. It allowed identifying three major transboundary risks namely (1) the reduction of resource availability, (2) degradation of water quality, and (3) the impact of variability / climate change.

Recognizing the need for a regional approach for shared groundwater management to face those transboundary risks for which efforts of one country cannot find a sustainable solution, the three countries committed themselves in a process of joint water resources management. Through this process, they plan to mitigate the negative impacts of these risks on their shared groundwater resources.

The policy and strategy elements to mitigate these risks have been designed to help countries in formulating their policies and strategies accompanied by an action plan in the medium and long term. These elements include the political, socio-economic and environmental dimension. They were developed by conducting the analysis of solutions for each risk examined according to (a) hydrogeological and environmental (b) socio-economic, and (c) legal and institutional dimensions.

To develop this policy at regional level, national legislation on water should be updated taking into account the achievements of the project in terms of the methods and management of transboundary groundwater regimes.

GICRESAIT
Policy elements for transboundary risks reduction
Water Resources Management
Studies & Reports
OSS
978-9973-856-55-5
2011

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis recommended by the Global Environment Fund has been applied to the transboundary groundwater of the Iullemeden Aquifer System shared by Mali, Niger and Nigeria. The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis is a scientific and technical fact-finding analysis based on technical and scientific information available and verified, to examine the state of the environment and the causes of its degradation, focusing on transboundary problems without ignoring national concerns and priorities.

Three major transboundary risks were identified: (1) reducing the availability of the water resource, (2) degradation of water quality, and (3) the impacts of climate variability/change. This required the development of a database with more than 17000 water points, a Geographic Information System and a mathematical model. This model has among other things, highlighted the overexploitation of the resource since 1995 and the interconnection between the Niger River and the aquifers. The immediate, root and underlying causes (including the governance of water) of these risks were analyzed.

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis is a participatory approach involving all stakeholders concerned with the issue. To this end, it contributes to strengthen solidarity and confidence between them.

GICRESAIT
GEF TDA/SAP approach
Water Resources Management
Studies & Reports
OSS
978-9973-856-30-2
2008

This publication presents the main obtained results from the implementation ofthe different components of the project: hydrogeological data collection, analysis, and synthesis; elaboration of a common database and an informationsystem; development and exploitation of the NWSAS mathematical model andthe regional sub-models; establishment of a consultation mechanism for thebasin joint management; socio-economic study; and environmental study.

SASS
The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System
Water Resources Management
Advocacy