The Algerian Ministry of Water Resources (MRE) and the River Basin Authorities (ABH) are currently updating the National water Master Plan (PNE –Plan National de l’Eau) and the River Basin Management Plans (PDARE). These plans encompass issues related to available water resources, estimation of water requirements, and identification of water infrastructure needs. The last version was dated of 2014 covering a period of 20 years for long term planning with an assessment and update every 5 years.
In the framework of the EU twinning project on Governance and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Algeria, an exercise is conducted to introduce some concepts of the EU Water Framework Directive into the revision of the River Basin Management Plan.
SWOS products have been presented to treat topics that have not been taken into account previously mainly due to the lack of information, such as inventory of wetlands, analysis of pressures introduced by land use on surface and ground water, alteration of hydro-morphology.
Algerian water resources managers were mostly interested in:
- monitoring sand and gravel extraction areas along rivers
- identification of illegal water abstraction for irrigation by comparisons of water permits locations (i.e. authorised water abstraction points) with the short term evolution of vegetation coverage
- rapid assessment of pressures on surface and ground water considering 3 main classes extracted from LULC maps: agriculture areas, urban/industrial areas, and natural areas (no pressure)
By Eric Mino, SEMIDE / EMWIS