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DECISION TOOL TO EVALUATE AND PLAN WATER RESOURCES AT SOUK-AHRAS

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Samia Snani, Soumia Ouled Zaoui, Yassine Djebbar, Habib Abida


Keyword(s): WEAP, integrated water resources management, stress conditions, scenarios analysis, water planning
Article:
AbstractThe scarcity and irregularity of precipitation and the potential adverse effects of climate change will most probably reduce the level of availability of water and tend to affect the majority of urban centers. Although most of the urban population in Algeria is connected to the water distribution network (86 %), drinking water is still relatively infrequent in many areas and varies from one city to another. The variability is also observed in the same city depending on the proximity or connectivity to the distribution system. Water availability varies from few hours per day to once in several days. The shortage of water of reasonable quantity and quality to meet the human and environmental needs is called the hydrous stress. This situation is expected to get worse in the future, with an ever increasing demand and a constant or even a decreasing offer. Nevertheless, It has been shown in the literature that the lack of water resources does not constitute a major cause of the water supply deficiency in many cases. Most often, the problem is related more to the bad management of the resources rather than to the lack of it. One of the tools that gained large acceptance in dealing with planning and management of water resources is the WEAP program (water evaluation and planning system). WEAP is a micro computer tool for integrated water resources planning developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute along with a number of internationally distinguished professional organizations. WEAP can calculate water demand, supply, runoff, infiltration, crop requirements, flows, storage, and pollution generation, treatment, discharge and water quality under varying hydrologic and policy scenarios. It is being used in many areas around the world. In this study, WEAP is used for the first time in North Africa to evaluate the effects of different water offer and demand scenarios. This is done by applying it to the water system in the region of Souk-Ahras (North-Eastern Algeria) through a series of scenarios with varying precipitation, land use, irrigation, socio economic factors, water price elasticity, and water quality parameters. The outcome of the study is a decision support and analysis tool to assist decision makers in evaluating water management alternatives under different planning scenarios
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