Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

SPIS Study // Impact of Solar Pumping Irrigation Systems in Tunisia

This case study analyzes the impact of solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS)on the groundwater use as well as its impact on a socio-economic level in Tunisia. It is based on interviews with a sample of Tunisian farmers and provides recommendations to promote the sustainable use of the technology. The study is published in French with an executive summary in English.

Irrigated agriculture plays an important role for Tunisia´s economy, its trading economy and food security. It is highly related to the availability of groundwater, in particular in the central and southern areas of the country. The cost of off-grid pumping is increasing due to the continuous fade-out of diesel subsidies. The use of SPIS has thus become economically viable compared to diesel systems.

The study is part of an evaluation mission of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF Nexus) in Tunisia commissioned by the Nexus Regional Dialogue in the MENA region, co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly managed by EU DEVCO and GIZ. This study has been carried out in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its project “Realising the potential and managing the risks of solar irrigation in the Near East and North Africa”. 

Table of Contents

  • Context of the Study and Methodological Approach
  • The Situation of Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems in Tunisia
  • Water Situation in the Southern and Central Areas of Tunisia
  • Results of the Study
  • Recommendations

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