Training on Water Monitoring in Tunisia

Oct 5, 2016 to Oct 6, 2016
Gammarth, Tunisia

The Training on Water Monitoring in Tunisia was organised by the Regional Environmental Center (REC) in the framework of the WATER SUM Water Resources Protection activity.

The main objectives were to build the capacities of water authorities, practitioners and other stakeholders in Tunisia on water monitoring in relation to the protection of water resources; and to share knowledge and best practices on monitoring techniques and networks.

The training was opened by Mr. Sofian Meddeb, head of international cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia, who underlined the importance of knowledge about water as a precondition for wise water management.

The Tunisian administration responsible for the monitoring of water quantity and quality delivered three presentations based on the country’s experience in hydrological, piezometric and water quality monitoring.

Ms. Romina Alvarez of the environmental assessment company CIMERA presented the guidance on water monitoring in MENA countries developed in the framework of the WATER SUM project, which covers different approaches to the monitoring of surface waters. Her presentation was followed by interactive exercises that involved all participants in practical tasks.

The first results of the feasibility study on monitoring networks in Tunisia were shared by Ms. Islem Amadi, whose presentation was followed by a discussion among participants.

The training continued with an in-depth session on the design of a monitoring programme, including, for example, preliminary surveys, the description of the monitoring area, and the selection of sampling sites and stations.

The second day of the training began with a presentation of monitoring programme resources and continued with an introduction to the main principles of biological monitoring, including related examples. Although biological indicators are rarely used in MENA countries, their application could supplement existing water quality monitoring in Tunisia.

Field work and sampling requirements were presented as part of the monitoring process, including sampling methods, sample preservation and transportation, the storage of samples, and physical and chemical analyses.

All the theoretical training sessions were followed by opportunities for participants to gain practical experience in solving specific cases typical for conditions in the country.

The whole of the afternoon session on the second day was devoted to hydrological monitoring, including water cycle description, water quantity measuring, equipment for field work and remote options for data processing.

Based on the feedback received from participants, the following key conclusions were reached:

  • Tunisia has long experience in monitoring surface water and groundwater, although the technical capacities of institutions need to be further enhanced with respect to contemporary techniques.
  • The optimisation of monitoring networks is advisable, particularly in relation to the collection of data on transboundary waters and anthropogenic impacts on rivers and dams.
  • Participants greatly appreciated the practical, participatory exercises, which provided an opportunity for sharing opinions and exchanging information between institutions. 


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