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Seminar on Groundwater Management in the Sahara Held in Algiers: fostering sustainable practices through Citizen Science

In a significant step towards sustainable groundwater management, the National Institute for Agricultural Extension in Algiers hosted a seminar titled “Citizen Science to Improve Understanding of Groundwater Systems” on May 27, 2024. This event, part of the eGroundwater project, gathered Algerian and international experts to explore innovative and participatory approaches to groundwater management in the Sahara.

The seminar offered a platform for presenting cutting-edge research conducted by the University of Adrar’s Department of Natural and Life Sciences in collaboration with the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAe) in Montpellier. The studies focused on the Badriane oasis near Timimoun and showcased the project’s broader impact through case studies from Portugal and other Mediterranean regions.

A highlight of the seminar was the participative sessions of the “Badi-O” game, where attendees experienced the challenges and interactions faced by farmers and administrators in Badriane. These sessions provided valuable insights into the dynamics of water management and agricultural practices in the region. Following the game, a round table discussion featured former ministers, researchers, and Timimoun administrators sharing their experiences and perspectives on traditional versus modern water management practices.

The event underscored the importance of integrating traditional knowledge with modern techniques to address the unique challenges of Saharan and oasis agriculture. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among diverse stakeholders, the seminar highlighted the critical role of citizen science in enhancing the understanding and management of groundwater systems for sustainable development.

This seminar reinforced the eGroundwater project’s commitment to supporting sustainable participatory groundwater management initiatives in Mediterranean regions, paving the way for future advancements and collaborations.