ALGERIA: A new agency will support the national desalination policy

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ALGERIA: A new agency will support the national desalination policy©Luciano Santandreu/Shutterstock

In order to guarantee its water security, Algeria has been relying on seawater desalination for several years. The government has just created a new independent agency in the country. Among the missions of the new structure, the reinforcement of water production capacities for consumption.

A new agency has just been created to accelerate the implementation of the seawater desalination policy in Algeria. The structure was created by a recent decree of the Algerian Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane. The agency, which is intended to be independent, will pursue the implementation of this national strategy, whose ambition is to cover 60% of Algeria’s drinking water needs from seawater desalination by 2030.

The new agency will oversee the completion, operation and maintenance of seawater desalination plants under construction in the North African country, as well as related facilities and equipment. The Algerian company will also carry out all studies and analyses related to new desalination projects in the country, and coordinate their implementation through to the distribution process by dedicated agencies.

A focus on resource preservation

Desalination plants help reduce the pressure on already overexploited water tables. Ranked 29th most affected by drought by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Algeria is facing climate change which is disrupting rainfall trends, leading to a drop in the filling level of dams. In 2021, the average filling rate of dams on the national territory will barely reach 44.5% according to the National Agency for Dams and Transfers (ANBT).

In response to water stress, the new agency should provide updated information on the volumes of water produced. The structure will ensure that the quality of the resource is respected, as well as the technical rules and standards for the design, construction, preparation and operation of desalination plants and associated equipment. Currently, Algeria has 12 desalination plants supporting 80 dams dedicated to supplying water to Algerians.

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The new agency will strengthen water management policies and strategies in Algeria. Since 2001, the availability of water to citizens has been ensured by the Algérienne des Eaux (ADE). The company produces and distributes drinking and industrial water, standardises and monitors the quality of the water distributed and works to save water.

Inès Magoum

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