Monitoring the Status of Waters in Tunisia
A Training on Water Monitoring in Tunisia took place in Gammarth, Tunisia on October 5-6, 2016. The Training aimed at building the capacities of water authorities, practitioners and other stakeholders in Tunisia on water monitoring in relation to the protection of water resources as well as at sharing knowledge and best practices on monitoring techniques and networks.
The training was opened by Mr. Sofian Meddeb, from International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia. Mr. Meddeb highlighted the importance of knowledge on water challenges 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, expert at the environmental assessment company CIMERA, presented the guidance on water monitoring in MENA countries developed in the framework of the WATER SUM project. The guidance covers different approaches to the monitoring of surface waters. Her presentation was followed by interactive exercises that involved all participants in practical tasks revolving around monitoring methodologies.
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 also included an in-depth session on how to design a monitoring programme and which tools – for example surveys, the description of the monitoring area, and the selection of sampling sites and stations – should be included or considered.
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 and practical examples. The participants recognized that biological indicators are rarely used in Tunisia and across the MENA countries. Their application, therefore, could supplement existing water quality monitoring techniques in the region.
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 second day’s afternoon session was devoted to hydrological monitoring, including water cycle description, water quantity measuring, equipment for field work and remote options for data processing.
Final conclusions of the Training on Water Monitoring in Tunisia:
- 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.