Ait Messaoud is a 150m deep borehole which was constructed in the east side of the oasis to restore the initial flow of the Tademait foggara. Its static level is of 34m and its flow rate is of 20l/s.

The farmers of the region have adopted the new localized irrigation system using the available low- flow surface wells, waiting for the installation of a solar pump station. Thanks to the new adopted localized irrigation technique and its rational management, it was possible to save a significant amount of water, and the irrigated surface has consequently more than doubled through the plantation of various food crops in the interstices between palms.

Two irrigation networks were installed:

  • a localized irrigation network composed of high-flow diffusers  (10-12l /h);
  • a simplified localized irrigation network (perforated pipes without much dripping for vegetable crops).

Thanks to the abandonment of the use of water issued by the “séguia” (highly permeable sandy canals and a source of a great loss of water due to infiltration) on the one hand and to the use of localized irrigation on the other, it was possible to save a great amount of water.

  • intercropping of zucchini using localized irrigation;
  • non-cultivated interstices before adopting localized irrigation ;
  • classical irrigation canals (Séguia);
  • winter tomato cultivation using localized irrigation.

Various types of crops were implemented by five farmers over a surface of 1ha (date palms, vegetable crops, and intercrops). The amount of water available enabled the restructuring of farms and the operation of the new irrigation technique, but did not fulfil the minimum needs of crops for water.

Despite the fact that Ksar Ait Messaoud oasis suffers a great water deficiency, we can notice a significant increase of the farmers’ awareness on the need to save water and contribute to its valorisation. Farmers have also become more alert to the complex nature of the water issue the region and the harmful impacts that surface wells impose on the sustainability of foggaras.

Eventually, despite the great water shortage that the SASS region display, the obtained agricultural results come to assert the initial belief that an increase in the foggaras’ flow are through the establishment of a solar pumping system would certainly lead to the restoration of the oasis system and consequently to improving the farmers’ revenues.

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