The latest rains have contributed to a 4.9% increase in dam reserves, bringing their filling rate to 35.1% as of June 8, 2023, compared with 29.8% last May, reported Hamadi Habib, Director General of the Planning and Hydraulic Balances Office at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, on Thursday.

The head of the agricultural department considered that recent rainfall had improved inflows to dams, but their contribution had not been great in terms of reserves. Inflows to dams did not exceed 230 million m3 during the period from May to June 6, 2023. Over the period from September 1, 2022 to June 6, 2023, total inflows to dams stood at 584 million m3.

The reserves of the country’s largest dam, Sidi Salem (Bejà Governorate), currently stand at 98 million m3, with a total capacity of 171 million m3.

The Mallègue dam (Kef Governorate) has the highest filling rate, with reserves of around 110 million m3.

The total volume of water resources in Tunisia is estimated at 4.8 billion m3 per year, including 2.7 billion of surface water and 2.1 billion of groundwater.

The country is below the threshold for water stress, set at 1,000 m3/capita/year, and “water poverty” (less than 500 m3/capita/year). The average per capita water consumption in Tunisia does not exceed 420 m3/year.

The effects of climate change are further complicating the situation and negatively impacting supplies to dams and hill lakes, with temperatures forecast to rise by 2.1 to 2.4 degrees by 2050 and rainfall to drop by as much as 1 to 14%.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse