Towards sustainable water management in Algeria

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04/30/2010


In Algeria, the European Union and the Algerian government are intensifying efforts to provide Algerians with sustainable water services.


Bassma Karrasha - Algeria, Eurojar

Through "EAU1", a European Union funded program, Algeria aspires to protect its water resources and to provide a sustainable answer to water supply and management issues. This program is in line with all projects the Algerian government is implementing to improve its water sector performance.

Algeria's water strategy constitutes an efficient tool for achieving its water sector development objectives: thus, the modernization of the water sector will facilitate water resources management efforts. The Minister of water resources Abdel Malek Slal has announced during the EAU1 Agreement signing ceremony in 2006 that the National Water Plan and the projects conceived at that time were drawn up to meet Algeria’s water needs until 2025.

With an overall budget of 20 million Euros, this EU-funded program aims at supporting Algeria’s reform that covers three main areas of work: updating the National Water Plan, strengthening the institutional, regulatory, juridical, financial, human, information and communication frameworks and introducing qualitative and quantitative planning instruments.

Within the framework of the first component, the updating of the National Plan will allow, by the end of 2010, to put in place strategic planning and investment development mechanisms till the year 2030 on the basis of reforms launched in the fields of regulation, concession systems and administration refocusing on state duties.

Within the framework of the second component, 45 decrees of water law number 12-05 were prepared; many of which were published. 150 senior executives attended training sessions. A communication plan was set on the basis of a survey on consumers’ perception regarding water services conducted among 1700 households, 320 farmers and 300 enterprises. A TV spot on water economy is under way. A book on Algerian dams and a documentary film on the water sector’s achievements were elaborated in English and in French and widely distributed at fairs and exhibitions. Another action consists of the modernization of the whole information and communication system between the Ministry, its services and agencies, by establishing geographic information and database archive systems.

Within the framework of the third component, 4 laboratories specialized in microscopic organic and non organic pollutants detection were provided with modern equipments, to ensure that drinking water quality standards are respected. On another hand, and in view of recent climate catastrophes occurred in Algeria, the program allowed implementing a pilot project that aims at managing a flood alert system in the province of Sidi Bel Abbès in order to reduce alert delay time, thanks to a control unit and a telephone hotline connected to the local authorities of the wilaya.

The Algerian financial contribution exceeded the 6.5 million Euros anticipated during the signing of the financing convention. It reached more than 10 million Euros, which means that the Algerian government is giving special attention to this program, paving thus the way for bilateral negotiations on a new EU development program.

Refer to the project fact sheet: Water Resource Sector Support Program (Algeria)