FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Launch of Project on Unlocking the Potential of Treated Wastewater and Drainage Water for Agricultural Development in Algeria


Algiers – 18 November 2019: The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries in Algeria, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), launched the national start-up workshop of a project on unlocking the potential of treated wastewater and drainage water for agricultural development in North Africa.


This workshop is the latest in a cycle of national workshops launched in North African countries as part of the project to produce a diagnosis on the production, storage and use of unconventional water sources in agriculture. This activity marks the beginning of the preparation of national assessment reports of the Maghreb countries, to be followed by a sub-regional action plan highlighting the potential for collaboration and investment.

During his address, Mr Latoui Abderrezak, Director of the Directorate of Agricultural Development in Arid and Semi-arid Areas thanked FAO for its continued support to the national priorities of Algeria, especially as, “this project contributes to the efforts launched by the Algerian government to extend irrigated areas by mobilizing available water resources.”

He added, “in our North African climate and arid natural environment, sustained agricultural production requires a water supply that is complementary to that from rainfall” and “the use of Non-conventional water is imperative, through the optimal mobilization of this resource.”

In his turn, Mr. Abdourahman Maki, FAO's water and soil expert, said that this national workshop goes hand in hand with the Algerian government's top priority, which "strives to reduce stress on natural resources, and above all water, and complements its efforts in this direction."

"Concretely,” he added, “this project aims to confirm the value of treated wastewater and drainage water, and to promote their optimal use to promote agricultural development."

The workshop began with an overview of the situation of the reuse of treated wastewater and drainage water in Algeria, presented by Ms. Myassa Stof, the national coordinator of the project, followed by a presentation on drainage water valuation in the Oued Righ Valley by Ms. Halima Khaled of the Technical Institute for the Development of Saharan Agriculture.

Mr. Maki briefed participants on FAO’s regional Initiative on Water Scarcity before introducing Mr. Faycel Chenini, the project leader at FAO, who explained in detail all the elements of the project and initiated discussion among the participants and stakeholders representing various institutions involved in the use of treated wastewater and drainage water in agriculture.

This discussion facilitated the articulation of an action plan, adopted in accordance with project expectations, to achieve measurable results that could be instrumental for the release of funds and the development of treated wastewater and drainage water reuse programs in Algeria.

This project forms part of the Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity (IWS), launched by FAO in 2013, formulated to support the countries of the NENA region (Near East and North Africa) to address two of their most urgent challenges: food security and water security, for sustainable economic and social development in a context of water scarcity.


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