EGU22-11545, updated on 16 Aug 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Integrated surface and groundwater resources management in a coastal aquifer (Cap BonPeninsula-NE of Tunisia)

Ichrak Khammessi1, Serge Brouyère2, Jalel Aouissi1, adel zghibi4, Ali Mirchi3, Anis Chkirbene5, Amira Merzougui6, Mohamed Haythem Msaddek4, and Hamadi Habaieb1
Ichrak Khammessi et al.
  • 1LR 17AGR01 (GREEN-TEAM)/ Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie/Université de Carthage, 43 Avenue Charles Nicolle, Tunis 1082, Tunisia
  • 2Group of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology – Aquapôle, University of Liège, Chemin des Chevreuils, 1, Building B52/3, 4000 Liège, Belgium
  • 3Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 111 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
  • 4Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Department of Geology, Laboratory Geosciences, Mineral Resources, Energies and Environment, University of Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis–El Manar, Tunisia
  • 5Georesources Laboratory,Water Research and Technology Centre, Borj Cedria Ecopark 8, PO Box 273, 8020 Soliman, Tunisia
  • 6National Institute of Agronomy, University of Carthage, 1082 Tunis

Coastal aquifers are usually the main source of water supply for irrigation, drinking
and industrial purposes in coastal regions. They are often subject to overexploitation and
consequent quantitative and qualitative degradation. The groundwater flow system of the Chiba
watershed in the CapBon peninsula (NE of Tunisia) is a typical case of an overexploited aquifer,
where a piezometric depression exceeding -10 m (a.m.s.l) appeared has developed over the two
last decades. Among the numerous remediation tentatives, the SMART-WATER project aimed
to propose a remediation plan based on a smart monitoring and water-energy nexus solution
through the installation of smart energy and water meters (SEWM). This technology aims to
optimize groundwater pumping at a set of selected representative farming systems in the
watershed. In this context, a first coupled surface water-groundwater flow model has been
developed and applied, coupled with energy nexus for the irrigated Chiba plain. The model is
implemented using a dynamic coupling between MODFLOW WEAP and LEAP in order to
assess the SEWM system efficiency in reducing aquifer exploitation and electrical energy
consumption at farm level. Multi-objective calibration of the model using river discharge and
GW level data has yielded accurate simulation of historical conditions, and resulted in better-
constrained parameters compared to using either data source alone. Model simulations show that
crop water demand cannot be met during droughts due to limited GW pumping capacity, and that
increased GW pumping has a relatively strong impact on GW levels due to the small specific
yield of the aquifer. Groundwater and energy models have also revealed that, under different
management and climatic scenarios, electric energy consumption and groundwater table decline
are intricately connected. Despite the short monitoring period and the intermittence of the
received data, SEWMs have shown a promising role in monitoring groundwater pumping and
engaging farmers in energy saving and aquifer sustainability.

How to cite: Khammessi, I., Brouyère, S., Aouissi, J., zghibi, A., Mirchi, A., Chkirbene, A., Merzougui, A., Msaddek, M. H., and Habaieb, H.: Integrated surface and groundwater resources management in a coastal aquifer (Cap BonPeninsula-NE of Tunisia), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11545,, 2022.