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Reconciling resource uses: Assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in the North Western Sahara Aquifer System

This report highlights the main results of an assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in the North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS), shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. The aquifer system is one of the largest transboundary groundwater reserves of North Africa, extending over one million square kilometers and subject to increased water demands. Improving the management of the basin's resources and responding to challenges is of high importance for the socio-economic development of the three countries, as well as the entire region.
The NWSAS nexus assessment is the main outcome of a participatory process with two transboundary workshops and national consultations, mobilizing representatives from the three countries and four sectors, in addition to multi-disciplinary local and international experts. Through a transboundary dialogue, the nexus assessment helped to identify the key interlinkages between energy, water, land and ecosystem resources, as well as potentila solutions to improve their management, thus enhancing sustainability and efficiency. Implementing various solutions simultaneously, and in a coordinated manner will help to achieve cross-sectoral goals while contributing to sectoral development, by minimizing intersectoral trade-offs and negative impacts, and maximizing synergies.
The report demonstrates that implementing a nexus approach to manage the NWSAS not only has multiple benefits, but also considerable potential to support further development of transboundary cooperation.
The NWSAS nexus assessment was carried out under the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), implemented by the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), as part of the "Making water cooperation happen in the Mediterranean" project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and in synergy with the GWP Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP).

Download Part A "Nexus Challenges and Solutions" in English, and in French.
Download Part B "Technical assessment of resources and sectors" in English, and in French.
"Policy Brief: Improving sustainable development in the north Western Sahara Aquifer System through a transboundary nexus approach" is available here.
Information about the assessment's preparation process is available here.