Tunisia: Dwindling Water Supplies Risk Supply Cuts, Agricultural Implications

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Economic, Security, Social, Tunisia


On 26 June 2024, a senior official from SONEDE, Tunisia’s nationalized water distributor, indicated that the country’s water crisis is worsening, with water reserves already dangerously low and the warmest, driest months of the year yet to come. 

SONEDE Central Director Chawki ben Mansour indicated in a media interview that water use is currently outpacing national supply. Current water reserves in Tunisia’s dams are nearly 13% lower than at the same point last year. 

Ben Mansour called on Tunisians to preserve water, avoiding unnecessary uses and continuing to abide by the rationing regulations which have been in place for months and include avoiding washing vehicles, cleaning sidewalks, and watering green spaces. 

Drinking water price increases that were announced in March 2024 have seemingly not dissuaded consumers from continuing to use water at high rates. 


The summer months are likely to further strain Tunisia’s water supplies, resulting in intermittent cuts and supply disruptions as the government works to enforce more effective rationing. This could frustrate many Tunisians, but will likely have the most tangible impact on outlying areas of the country as the government has historically avoided major supply disruptions of both power and water to larger cities. 

If further depleted through the summer months, the most significant impact could be experienced in the upcoming agricultural season when farmers will replant their fields and begin watering their crops. Depletion of water supplies could have a damaging impact on agricultural production next year. 


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