Water Governance in Tunisia

Overcoming the Challenges to Private Sector Participation

image of Water Governance in Tunisia

This report diagnoses the main governance and financing challenges to private sector participation in the water supply and wastewater sector of Tunisia, and provides ways forward to address these challenges. It been developed as part of a water policy dialogue conducted by the OECD jointly with the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in the context of the project labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) "Governance and Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector", with the support of the FEMIP Trust Fund of the European Investment Bank.

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Assessment and recommendations

The water sector in Tunisia is faced with deteriorating infrastructure and declining service quality, as well as increasingly severe financing difficulties. These problems are exacerbated by the increasing scarcity of water resources and the fact that they are already heavily exploited, which makes further investment more costly. Transferring water from the north to the south has shown its limits. The technological solutions to which the country might turn, such as exploiting nonconventional sources, are expensive. Operators are showing signs of exhaustion and are facing significant financial challenges because of rising costs, low tariff levels, and the insistent demand for high-quality service. Governance of the sector, which is based on highly centralised responsibilities and decision-making powers, is also revealing its limitations.

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