Effects of Climate Change on Tunisia's Water Resources: Detection, Adaptation, Mitigation and Research needs


July 16, 2012, Palais des Sciences de Monastir, Tunisia

There is ample scientific evidence that humans are changing the climate. Climate change will impact every sector of the society, especially water resources. The magnitude of these changes depends on future anthropogenic activities, and on the technological and economic development. Climate change and its potential social, economic, and physical effects are likely to aggravate this vulnerability, leading to large scale instability especially for the geographical regions that are already vulnerable to other non-climate stresses. Climate change is likely to aggravate water scarcity, flood frequency and magnitudes. Water scarcity impedes food security because it reduces agricultural productivity, deters human health and economic development; water scarcity can also lead to additional environmental stress, and increase tensions within and between nations sharing water resources. Climate change impacts the function and operation of water infrastructure, e.g., dams, hydropower, structural flood protections, drainage and irrigation networks and water management practices in general. The Negative effects of global warming on freshwater resources aggravate the effects of other human induced factors, e.g., urbanization and over population, surge in economic activity, and land-use change. Human's way of life as we know it will be endangered if adaptation and mitigation majors are not taken to face climate change. In addition, it is also imperative to integrate these future adaptation and mitigation strategies. Several gaps in knowledge exist in terms of observations and research needs related to climate change and water.
The main goal of this workshop is to familiarize different Tunisian stakeholders of the current knowledge on climate change as it relates to Tunisia's water resources and the needed strategies (scientific research and policies) to help Tunisia cope with it through potential adaptation and mitigation measures. To achieve this goal the following topics will be addressed:

1) Detection and attribution of change signals in Tunisia from historic data;
2) Report on climate predictions for Tunisia from the outputs of climate models (global, regional);
3) Understanding climate change projections and their impact;
4) Adaptation to climate change;
5) Mitigation of Climate change;
6) Observational data and data access as prerequisites for adaptive management;
7) Modeling of climate changes and hydrological cycle at scales relevant to decision making;
8) Impacts of climate change on water quality, aquatic ecosystems, groundwater and socio-economic dimensions;
9) Effects of water management policies and measures on greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation;
10) Implications for policy and sustainable development;
11) Tools to facilitate integrated appraisals of adaptation and mitigation options across multiple water-dependent sectors; Finally
12) Vulnerability and Adaptation to Tunisia's extreme events under a changing climate.

The workshop on detection, mitigation, adaptation and research needs related to the impacts of climate change on water resources in Tunisia will provide the participants an important information exchange opportunity to help in drafting a nation action plan. It will bring together - and enhance collaborations amongst Tunisian hydrologist experts in Tunisia and North America.




Title of Presentation

8:15-8:20Chair : Y. Alila Opening Statement
8:20-8:35 Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture: TBA
KEYNOTE SPEAKER I: Dr. Richard J. Schuhmann, Penn State University, USA
8:35-9:05 Projected climate change effects in Tunisia: water resource impacts and actions
TECHNICAL SESSION I : Chaired by Marouane Temimi
9:05-9:20 Dr. Sihem Chairat Benabdallah Climate Induced Changes on the Hydrology of Mediterranean Basins
9:20-9:35 Dr. Moncef Zairi Qualité des eaux des aquifères côtiers surexploités : Cas de la région de Sfax, Tunisie
9:35-9:50 Dr. Ouessar Mohamed Modeling water harvesting impacts in the dry areas of Tunisia
9:50-10:05 Emna Boughariou et al. Climate change impacts on water resources in arid and semi-arid regions: case of Chaffar
10:05-10:20 COFFEE BREAK
KEYNOTE SPEAKER II: Dr. Naveed Khaliq, University of Saskatchewan, CANADA
10:20-10:50 Extreme precipitation and flood risk analysis using regional climate model projections
TECHNICAL SESSION II: Chaired by Riadh Abdelfattah
10:50-11:10 Dr. Younes Alila Forests and floods: A new paradigm sheds light on age-old controversies and challenges decades of peer-reviewed literature
11:10-11:30 Dr. M. Temimi & Ali FaresTowards better management of water resources using remote sensing and distributed hydrologic models
11:30-11:50 Dr. Riadh Abdelfattah Cartographie de l'impact de la salinisation des eaux sur les sols aride : Cas de la salinité des sols en Tunisie centrale
11:50-12:10 Dr. Imen Ayadi Prédiction neuronale de l'impact des changements climatiques sur le ruissellement et l'envasement des retenues des lacs collinaires de la Dorsale Tunisienne
12:10-2:00 LUNCH BREAK
2:00-2:20 Tunisian Ministry of Environment: Madame Messai
KEYNOTE SPEAKER III: Dr. Fateh Chebana, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, Québec, CANADA
2:20-3:00 Evaluation, comparison, evolution and modeling of flood characteristics in a climate change context
3:00-3:20 COFFEE BREAK
5:00-5:30 Co-Chair: Imen Ayadi CONCLUDING REMARKS

For any enquiry about the workshop please email Younes Alila: alila@interchange.ubc.ca