Title: AquaFej: a simulation game for planning water management - an experiment in central Tunisia

Authors: Marjorie Le Bars; Philippe Le Grusse; Laassad Albouchi

Addresses: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement IRD (UMR G-EAU) Quartier Hippodrome, BP 2528 Bamako, Mali ' CIHEAM-IAM (UMR G-EAU), 3191, route de Mende 34093, Montpellier Cedex 5, France ' Agricultural High School of Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Zaghouan, Tunisia

Abstract: Until the 2000s, water resources in Tunisia were managed solely by government bodies without any consultation with water users. At the local level, Commissariats Règionaux de Dèveloppement Agricole [Regional Agricultural Development Committees (CRDAs)], which represented the government bodies, managed water resources. The Tunisian Government then decided to involve farmers in the local management of water resources by creating Agricultural Development Associations (GDAs). Water resource management by CRDAs must now take into account water demand from farmers belonging to GDAs and, in return, farmers must acknowledge water scarcity and accept the need for resource-sharing. How can CRDAs and GDAs work towards cooperative water management? In this paper, we present a simulation game requested by officials at the Kairouan CRDA in order to develop cooperative management of the water resources in a typical small watershed in central Tunisia. Our aim was to use the game to increase both farmers' awareness of water resource-sharing, scarcity, and the impact of overexploitation, and CRDA officials' awareness of different uses that determine water demands. The game is based on a hydrological model of the watershed and an agro-economic model of farming systems that use water resources for irrigation.

Keywords: water management; decision support systems; DSS; simulation games; rural development; Tunisia; Agricultural Development Associations; water scarcity; resource sharing; cooperative management; water resources; farmers; hydrological modelling; agro-economics; irrigation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2014.064180

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2014 Vol.17 No.3, pp.242 - 260

Received: 02 Jun 2011
Accepted: 04 Jul 2012

Published online: 30 Aug 2014 *

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