Issues addressed

The pilot site is located in Oued Righ Valley. The drainage system of Oued Righ Valley is ensured by an open channel stretching over 150km from Goug (Daira de Temacine) to chott Meroune in Melghir (governorate of El Oued). This central channel plays a vital role for the communities living around and for the protection of soil quality and conservation of the oasis system.

This region is marked by the presence of three water tables:

  • a water table with a depth that varies between 0 to 50 m and which contains a considerable stock of salty water (up to 13g/l) hence it is rarely used for irrigation. Its feeding is ensured by the surplus irrigation water.
  • the Terminal Complex aquifer of a depth varying between 65-461m, a flow rate of 25-45 l/s and a salinity of 3-11g/l. The Terminal Complex is largely used for irrigation.
  • the Intercalary Continental aquifer of a depth that reaches 2200m north Oued Righ valley. As the water quality is relatively better in this aquifer, its water is often used for drinking.

The main problem of this pilot (pilot 2) is the unwise and improper management of drainage and irrigation water (as it is the case for most of Oued Righ oases).

The use of the water filling technique within a general context of “non-water shortage” and the rise of the aquifer level led to a significant increase of soil hydromorphy and salinization.

The establishment of a drainage network outside the farms was not sufficiently able to decrease the water table level, which had several negative impacts on the farming system, mainly weak irrigation water efficiency, damage and even death of crops in certain situations. Hence, the sustainability of agriculture in the region is threatened, which explains the fact that some of the oasis farmers have abandoned their farms and endorsed other activities to improve their living condition.