First Campaign

A. Process 

The implementation of the first campaign was conducted in a number of sequential phases. The first phase was devoted to four main activities, namely:

  • elaboration of the terms of reference for the recruitment of national consultants in the three concerned countries;
  • collection of information and base documents for the drafting of water national strategies synthesis in the SASS region (Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya).
  • drawing the outline of the data collection methodology;
  • preparation of questionnaires.

The second phase started in October 2010 and ended in March 2011. It focused mainly on the following:

  • carry out field visits in the three concerned countries;
  • prepare and elaborate the national strategies preliminary synthesis;
  • elaborate and fine-tune the surveys questionnaire;
  • identify the field zones where surveys would be conducted;
  • construct the sampling frame;
  • recruit national experts for the implementation and monitoring of field surveys;
  • collect statistic information for the construction of a sampling of farmers (representatives of the entire agricultural users of the SASS water resources).

The third phase lasted from the beginning of April until the end of August and was mainly devoted to:

  • select a sample of farms to be surveyed in the different identified zones in Algeria and Tunisia;
  • train interviewers and testing the questionnaire;
  • launch and follow up with the results of the surveys conducted in Algeria and Tunisia.

The fourth phase started in the beginning of September 2011 and ended in May 2012 and was devoted to:

  • train the data entry team;
  • gather the collected data at the headquarters of OSS;
  • make copies, identify and validate the completed surveys;
  • start the entry of collected data;
  • review and correct of incomplete or incorrect surveys; the improvement of the quality of collected data was ensured thanks to a logistic strengthening and a good training of the survey team.

The last phase started in May 2012 and ended in June 2013 and focused on:

  • preliminary descriptive analysis of collected data;
  • quantitative analysis;
  • writing a synthesis report combining all the obtained results.

B. Analysis 

Concerning the presentation of the first campaign’s results, the focus will be on analysing and comparing the results registered in the three SASS countries. The is divided into four sections:

The first one is dedicated to a small presentation summarizing the statistic, economic, and econometric tools needed for the descriptive and quantitative analysis. The first section will focus on:

  • definition of the variables to be used in the analysis and quantitative treatment of collected data during the first socioeconomic and environmental survey campaign;
  • definition of the core economic concepts and tools used, the focus will be on price elasticity, willingness-to-pay primary users in order to mobilise or acquire the water resource, on which depends  any sustained agricultural production and the key concept of water economic productivity. This last concept (i.e. water productivity) calculates the amount of marketable product in relation to the amount of input (cubic meters of water) needed to produce that output.
  • a simplified draft of the econometric model based on estimations; and mainly
  • a highly simplified empirical example to present as clearly as possible the preliminary model that served for the development of all other models.

The second section of the report will provide a descriptive analysis of collected data. This section, based on rudimentary simple statistics, will allow to conduct an intuitive analysis of collected data in order to prepare for the quantitative analysis.

The third section is dedicated to the quantitative analysis of collected information and especially to the provision of a feedback on the obtained results. This section, which constitutes core part of the report, will present the econometric estimations concluded thanks to the use the STATA 11 software. The STATA 11 software, which was developed and conceived mainly to treat in a convenient way the surveys data, is the most appropriate tool for our case study. Two important results could be concluded from the quantitative analysis:

  • this work shows explicitly the relevance of a disaggregated analysis of collected data and especially its superiority over any other global analysis for an accurate estimation of the impact water price variation on water demand;
  • an appropriate water pricing would modify the increase on water demand and thus attain the main objective of water conservation in the region.

The fourth section aims to present a brief synthesis of the obtained results and to elaborate operational recommendations for a sustainable management of the scarcely renewable SASS resource.

C. Key Points 

The most important and pertinent obtained results include:

  •  Price elasticity of water demand is significant and has an appropriate sign: the quantitative analysis of the information collected throughout the SASS basin clearly shows that water demand is sensitive to any variation in water pricing. The obtained results further confirm the widely-held claim that water is a vital and sacred good above any law of water supply and demand. In fact, the analysis carried out on a sample of 2557 irrigated farms in the SASS region shows that a 100% variation in the water price lead to a significant decrease of 39% in water demand. However, when we uniquely consider individual farmers, who assume an important part of the cost of mobilising the used the water resource, the decease may reach 49%, which is far from being negligible.
  • Water salinity is a factor that threatens the sustainability of the entire irrigated agriculture in the SASS region: all the estimations related to the impacts of salinity on the total production of irrigated agriculture, on the gross farms profit, and on water productivity, are significant. This negative and even damaging impact of salinity is observed regardless of used irrigation system or the country concerned.


Any policy that aims to improve the quality and management of water in the SASS basin with a view of ensuring the SASS water resources sustainability despite the highly vulnerable context must integrate all the mentioned dimensions. 


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