Broad cross-sectoral cooperation urgently needed to address the degradation of North Africa’s largest aquifer shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia

Shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) is North Africa’s largest groundwater reserve, supporting the lives and livelihoods of 4.8 million inhabitants. A vital water resource extending over 1 million square kilometres in a highly arid environment, the aquifer system is naturally vulnerable due its low natural recharge. Pressures on water have been increasing over the past three decades with the rise of new industrial agriculture, with water abstraction currently standing at 3 times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate (1 billion cubic meters per year). 

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