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Foggara a Traditional System of Groundwater Exploitation in South-West of Algeria

Author(s): Ansari Taha

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Keywords: Foggara-Oasis-Inventory-Database-GIS-map

Abstract: The FOGGARA in Algeria irrigates our palm groves and perpetuates the greenery in the desert. The man of the desert has built for several years, an environment that respects the regulation of sustainable development. This environment is called Oasis and it is composed of a source of water (foggaras), village (Ksar) and a palm-grove. The backbone of this of these three mainstays of This environment is the foggara. With water of this foggara, the man has learned and understood how to tame this very hostile environment. The greenery in this very arid area has been created and perpetuated by the feats of men and waters of foggara and an extension or a reduction of the irrigated area is dependent on the abundance of water, which comes from the Foggara to the palm-grove. Currently the system Foggara is influenced by many constraints that they have caused a considerable decrease in flow rate of the Foggara, despite the efforts and investments made by the Algerian government to safeguard this system that plays an important role in maintaining the greenery in the sahara because every litre of water that disappears is a parcel that is abandoned the result greenery is replaced by sand. Foggara is one the traditional systems in the world that has proved a very good practice and a rational management of water in this very arid area through the centuries. The land of foggaras in Algeria: is called province of Adrar), it is located in the central part of the Algerian Sahara, it covers a total area of 427 968 Km2. Adrar province is divided in four regions, the region of: Touat, gourara, tidikelt and Tanzerouft. The population of this province is about 432 193 inhabitants. In oasis, water is scarce, water is like land, and it is inherited, sold and bought. Also Water is a vital and essential factor for the preservation of these bastions of life in hyper arid areas. The man of the oasis for avoids any social conflict and infightings inside the village and for managing better the life in oasis. For a sharing out fairly and equitably of water for all users in the oasis, the man of oasis, has used his know-how and his expertise for promulgate a laws, he designed measurement tools, and also he conceived the units of measurement of foggra’s flowrate. All this laws, tools and units are used until today. Each foggara, has a register called Ezmmam el foggara. That register is very important document because it contains: The names of foggara’s owners, and the quantity of water allocated to each owner. The monitoring of these foggaras, which irrigate 17000 ha of palm groves is essential also seek appropriate ways to improve and maintain their flow rates is vital for the protection of these oases. This led the National Agency of Water Resources to initiate inventory work and collection of all technical information relating to this system of groundwater exploitation (measurement of flow rates, locating of wells and combs (kasria) with GPS, measure the depth of the wells and monitoring the foggaras’water quality (680 samples in 2011, and 400samples in 2015) ) and integrate all that data in a Geographic Information System (GIS). We have inventoried until today 1942 foggaras, was positioned by GPS195034 wells of foggra, 1900 combs (kasrias) and measured the depth of 2152 wells, this data is for establish the depth map; this map is a static data in the time. We use the depth map with piezometric map (a data that is variable in time). Information collected from these two maps is like an early warning system, that Provides Information about foggara's state. For make easier to share this information with other partner and make a best management of foggara, all this information is introduced into the GIS.


Year: 2016

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