Country Profiles

Nexus Country Profile // Tunisia

Tunisia is located from 30°N to 37°N in northern Africa; it shares borders with Algeria to the west and Libya to the east. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the north of the country. Four geographic regions exist in the country: the mountainous north-east, the southern mountains of lower altitude, the eastern coastal plains and the desert plains in the south-west which are home to several chotts (i.e. salt lakes that remain dry for much of the year). The climate is essentially Mediterranean with mild rainy winters and hot dry summers. The predominant land covers are cultivated crops, rangeland, permanent grassland, forests, steppes, wetlands and desert lands. After the uprising during the Arab Spring, the country held its first democratic elections in 2011.

Highlighted Nexus-related challenges faced by Tunisia

  • The rate of groundwater extraction in many aquifers is unsustainable. This problem is exacerbated by an inconsistent institutional framework to ensure the sustainability of groundwater use and unauthorized drilling for aquifer exploitation.
  • Although the implementation of solar pumping irrigation systems encourages renewable energy use, there is a risk of increased groundwater overexploitation.
  • Tunisia has a high energy balance deficit and electricity production is highly dependent on imported natural gas. The country seeks to achieve a renewable energy target of 30% of the electricity generation mix by 2030, with the diversification of the energy mix aiming to improve energy security.
  • Agricultural production is very vulnerable to drought, especially in the northern regions, where 97% of the cereal crops are rainfed.
  • Energy demands are high for irrigation, water transfers, pumping from deep aquifers, desalination processes and wastewater treatment.
  • Uncontrolled land use practices are contaminating aquifers in the country and inefficient agricultural techniques contribute to the overexploitation of water resources.

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Published

December 2018

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About the Nexus Country Profiles

The Nexus Country Profiles give an overview of the Nexus-related challenges faced by a country, show the specifics of the water, energy and food/agricultural sectors and summarise the water-energy, water-food and energy-food interrelations. Nexus-relevant aspects of the country’s governance are highlighted and allow for a better understanding of possible entry points for integrated management and policy planning. The profiles culminate in a tri-sectoral Nexus evaluation and food-energy-water security index.

The country profiles are developed in the frame of the  Nexus Dialogue Programme, jointly funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with regional partners. Research for and elaboration of the country profiles is supported by the Institute for Technology and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

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