Study of the Feasibility of Water Reuse for Agriculture as an Adaptation Measure to Climate Change: A Case Study of Ain Temouchent, Algeria
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The scarcity of conventional water resources represents for Algeria, because of its Mediterranean climate arid to semi-arid, a major concern. The global water potential of Algeria does not exceed 13.2 billion m3 of water, which offers an annual volume of 412 m3 to each citizen. Considering the vulnerability of available water resources to the impact of climate change, population growth as well as socio-economic factors, a situation of severe water scarcity occurs, which hinders the development of the country. This project seeks to study the feasibility of reusing the treated domestic wastewater for agricultural purposes as an adaptation measure to climate change. The area under investigation is Ain Temouchent, a semi-arid arid region located in North Western Algeria. Climate studies have shown that climate change through the drought that has occurred in the past decades has affected the whole of the country and more particularly the North-Western region. This has been characterized by a negative impact on available water resources as well as on the agricultural productivity. In Algeria, agricultural irrigation is the primary water-consuming sector followed by domestic and industrial sectors. It is therefore imperative to rationalize the use of conventional water resources. The reuse of treated wastewater represents the alternative for the preservation of the available water resources and the promotion of the agricultural sector. This research was conducted in the wastewater treatment plant of Ain Temouchent. Analyzes carried out on the physico-chemical and microbiological parameters of the treated wastewater quality have been compared with the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Algerian standards of water quality for irrigation. Following the interpretation of the different results, the treated wastewater could be used for the irrigation of fruits trees. The choice of the fruit tree was focused on the olive tree. This choice could be justified by the importance of the olive in the agricultural sector of Algeria, since the cultivation of olives constitutes a significant source of income for the rural population. In addition to that, the development of the olive tree is specified by a good efficiency of water use. The olive tree can generate a balanced annual yield under semi-arid climatic conditions.