Water in agriculture in three Maghreb countries

Status of water resources and opportunities in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

The Maghreb countries are facing increasing water scarcity amplified by inefficient water use and overexploitation of water resources. There is evidence that surface water is diminishing and that ground water levels are lowering rapidly. The countries are affected by climate change as rainfall is more erratic and there are longer lasting and more severe periods of drought, alternated with severe rains and catastrophic flooding. The projected climate change impact on agriculture in the Maghreb will most likely increase further. This is accompanied by salinization of soils and ground water, even strengthened by over-fertilization of soils, combined with a general low productivity and misuse of water.

The Netherlands has world-renowned expertise when it comes to water management and agriculture, and finding sustainable and practical solutions for water use efficiency, quality improvement and circular agriculture. In order to link the Dutch experience and expertise to the issues at hand, an assessment of the current situation of water use and water problems in agriculture as well as the challenges for improvement was needed.


Acacia Water, together with the Salt Doctors (https://www.thesaltdoctors.com/), report here on the assessment carried out to better understand the challenges for bilateral cooperation in the field of water in agriculture in three Maghreb countries: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The assessment results will be used for making concrete recommendations on business and institutional cooperation between the Netherlands and the three individual Maghreb countries especially in those fields where the Dutch agribusiness, knowledge and technology institutions can make a significant improvement.


The outcome allowed a comparative overview of several key opportunities and specific technological developments and link these to Dutch knowledge and technology solutions available. For each of the countries we described most opportune cooperation opportunities shaped as business cases with the involvement of the local Government, Dutch and local private sector and knowledge organizations.


This study was commissioned by the Agricultural Offices of the Dutch Embassies in Algiers and Rabat, financed by the Dutch ministry of LNV.


The report can be downloaded here (https://www.agroberichtenbuitenland.nl/documenten/rapporten/2021/03/11/water-in-agriculture-maghreb-final-report).


For more information you can contact our colleague Victor Langenberg (mailto:victor.langenberg@acaciawater.com)

Maghreb rapport Maghreb rapport
Maghreb countries Maghreb countries
Maghreb salinity Maghreb salinity