REGIONAL - The SASS III project (2007-2013):

"Operational recommendations for the sustainable management of the Northwestern Sahara Aquifer System" (Reducing Risks to the Sustainable Management of the North West Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS))

Executing agency: The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)

The project

 "SASS III" is the title of the third phase of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory's (OSS) project on the Northwestern Sahara Aquifer System (Système Aquifère du Sahara Septentrional- SASS), which kicked-off in 1999 with the aim of enhancing knowledge and management of the Saharan groundwater resources shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia.
The objective of SASS III is to devise operational recommendations for the management of groundwater withdrawn for agricultural purposes, particularly in areas of the basin where the water table, the soil or the whole ecosystem is vulnerable.


  • Component 1 : socio-economics
  • This component includes the elaboration of a socio-economic study that will shed light on the practices of farming-related water uses in the basin.
    A field survey has been conducted in two installments with 3,000 farmers in the first campaign, and 1,500 farmers in the second campaign). All respondents were farms using the SASS groundwater resources for irrigation.

  • Component 2 : demonstration pilots
  • Six fully operational demonstration pilots (DP) have been selected. They represent each a well defined problem related to groundwater use in irrigation.  National institutions in charge of water management in the three riparian countries participated in the identification and selection of pilots.
    DP 1 : the restoration and safeguard of the "foggaras" and associated agricultural production systems in a context of water shortage in Reggane (Adrar, Algeria)
    DP 2 : enhancement of land and water management and their valorisation in  Oued Righ (Algeria)
    DP 3 : Restoration and protection of irrigated agriculture production systems in Bir Etterfess in the Libyan Djeffara plain
    DP4 : Cost-effective use of desalinated geothermal water (by reverse osmosis) in hyper-intensive irrigation in Gabès, Tunisia
    DP 5 : rehabilitation of irrigated lands affected by salinity and hydromorphia, and restoration of agrarian systems in the Oasis of  Jedida and Mansoura in  Kebili, Tunisia.
    DP 6 : development of brackish water in irrigation in the region of Sidi Makhlouf, Medenine (Tunisian Djeffara) 

  • Component 3: Information system
  • The project aims to set up of a fully fledged information system working on a reliable database and using GIS.

  • Component 4: Remote-sensing
  • Demonstration pilots 2,3 and 6 have been identified as test zones for the use of  satellite imagery (courtesy of Africa-Geodev) in the assessment of groundwater withdrawals.​ As part of this component, OSS coordinates the AGRICAB project​'s activities  being implemented in North Africa (2011 - 2015)  


 Shared Documents / Documents partagés

Presentation OSS Programme Eau.pptx
Project document brief.pdf
Project document SASSIII.docx
Project Identification Form document (revised).pdf
Project Preparation grant.doc
Système Aquifère du Sahara Septentrional  Base de Données et SIG.pdf
Système Aquifère du Sahara Septentrional  Hydrogélogie.pdf
Système Aquifère du Sahara Septentrional  Modèle mathématique.pdf
Système Aquifère du Sahara Septentrional  Rapport de synthèse.pdf
People collaborating

Mr Djamel Latrech
Project manager NWSAS at OSS
Tel: +216 71 206 633
Email: djamel.latrech@oss.org.tn