Water harvesting & Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated & Sustainable model in MAghreb - WADIS-MAR

Approval Date

December 2011

Project Duration

54 months (December 2011- June 2016)

Financial and Technical Partners

European Commission: 2700 K€


Country of operations

Algeria, Tunisia

Main Beneficiaries

Governmental structures in charge of water resources in the two concerned countries.


  • Overall Objective: improve the livelihoods of rural populations in the arid and semi-arid areas of the Maghreb region affected by water scarcity and desertification.
  • Scientific Objective: Contribute to aquifers recharge through an integrated water collection system and better agricultural practices in the two catchment basins of Wadi Biskra in Algeria and Oum Zessar in Tunisia to enhance adaptation to climate change.


Project Status




  • Integrated and sustainable water collection systems based on artificial recharge techniques were established  
  • Agricultural practices and irrigation techniques were improved ;
  • The capacities of local and national institutions were strengthened and populations’ awareness in terms of water and agriculture management was increased.


  • Capacity Building:

An intensive training activity was carried out in Tunisia, Algeria, Italy and Spain involving researchers, technicians and public officials. Six (6) training sessions focusing on database and modeling (15 participants), agro-meteorology (14 participants in Biskra and 23 participants in Medenine), geophysics (18 participants), spectoradiometric (5 technicians), Relational Database, Management System and 3D hydrogeological modeling (11 participants) were held from 2012 to 2015.
The activity was strengthened in the final semester of the Project cycle after the approval of the amendment request when a capacity building course was organized in Tunisia, Italy and Spain with the participation of 220 participants (57% men and 43% women) coming from Tunisia and Algeria who attended 17 sessions of different trainings involving 76 public institutions


  • Experience Exchange and South-South cooperation:

2 South-South cooperation and experience exchange meetings were organized in Medenine (Dec 2014) and Biskra (Oct 2015) involving 22 Tunisian and Algerian farmers, 9 Tunisian experts, 12 Tunisian and Algerian farmers and 11 Algerian experts. Besides the technical aspects discussed during the visits and related seminars, the exchanges helped strengthen the relations between farmers and relevant stakeholders and among stakeholders themselves.


  • Dissemination
  1. About 25 public institutions were involved in the international workshop organized in Tunis in March 2016 (50 participants) and about 40 in the WADIS-MAR final conference (100 participants) organized in June 2016.
  2. 45 participants attended the Conference on “Experiences on integrated water management to combat desertification”, Sassari 18 June 2015.
  3. Various articles in proceedings and international journals and videos have been produced and disseminated on the WADIS-MAR and OSS websites.
  4. Comic books and various materials were elaborated and disseminated to schools reaching 81 pupils (10-12 ages), 9 teachers, 17 representatives of the House of Culture (Dar ath-Thaqafa) of Sidi Makhlouf; Cultural Centre of Medenine; the Centre of Dramatic Arts of Medenine, the Youth Center of Medenine) and Tunisian partners.
  5. Awareness-raising campaign about the project results and achievements through the exhibition of the project  products in the area of Medenine (Tunisia) was organized.
  6. A field trip was organized in Tunisia for 18 Algerian and Tunisian students, young researchers and technicians, and 9 institutional staff from Tunisia and Algeria.
  7. The SWIM Support Mechanism (SWIM SM) was regularly updated on the project progress and a documentary about the SWIM program results and achievements was produced