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Les techniques traditionnelles de captage et de partage des eaux d'irrigation dans l'Oasis de Béni Ounif (Région de Béchar, Sud-Ouest, Algérie)

Traditional techniques of capture and sharing of waters of the oasis of Béni Ounif
[journal article]

Cherif, Rezzoug

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Abstract For centuries, the oasis dwellers of the Béni Ounif used techniques for acquisition of groundwater to meet the domestic needs of the population of Ksar and garden irrigation. The oasis dwellers were able to master the management of water through these processes. Despite a low annual rainfall, they were able to manage critical situations of prolonged droughts while protecting their environment. These ancient techniques such as traditional wells including foggaras have proven effective in the past. However with the addition of modern methods of water catchment (boreholes and pumps), the ancestral techniques of irrigation degraded from one year to another and their future is threatened. The use of new systems of pumping of groundwater by drilling, and not taken into effective charge of Foggaras, made this system to lose its value which deteriorates while the palm groves disappear. The overpumping causes a significant decrease of the level of the groundwater. Soil salinization is widespread throughout the oasis and water pollution has even reached the whole tablecloth of the oasis. Over 80% of these systems have been abandoned in recent years. However, during the years 2007 and 2008, different rehabilitation projects have been launched by the concerned departments and even some oasis dwellers have started processes to maintain several foggaras, sources and seguias. This study aims to analyze the traditional techniques of capture and sharing of waters of the oasis of Béni Ounif.
Keywords Algeria; rural area; water; shortage; water management; irrigation; environmental damage; new technology; economic impact; ecological consequences; social effects; agriculture; North Africa; developing country
Classification Ecology, Environment; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Free Keywords Oasis; Béni Ounif; Foggara; Source
Document language French
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 16-25
Journal Cinq Continents, 8 (2014) 9
ISSN 2247-2290
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works