Management and Conservation Water Techniques for and by Farmers: when the water management is a risk shared by the community. Case of fragile ecosystems in Algeria

Abstract Algeria is situated in a region where the lack of water is frequent. Indeed, the period of drought is long even for zones classified in wet bioclimatic floors. This period of drought spreads out generally May until mid October for the wet said zones and all year long for the dry and desert zones. Rains are irregular and unevenly distributed. The recourse use to the techniques of collection of rainwaters, management and preservation for traditional processes is a current practice which tends to be neglected in favour of “modern” techniques of irrigation.

Our contribution has double objective:

Rehabilitation of certain techniques of collections of rainwaters (valats, poach stones, impluvium) where it is used mainly for the olive tree and the fig tree (Mounts of Kabylia, Beni Snous), and,

 A study of the management techniques and preservation of the water where the risk is shared by all the community (foggara,…)

Moreover, we underline that certain areas to fragile ecology are rich in sources of water, which in spite of the institution of the social rules which make the unanimity regarding sharing and regarding distribution; the farmers cannot manage to satisfy the water requirements of their cultures, only revenue stream for some of them.

This requires a renovation of the traditional system of water delivery to the plot of land without disrupting the already established social rules, where from the necessity of a participative work, where the farmers are actively involved. The methods of water sharing are based on equity, rigor, solidarity and mutual aid through the organization of the tour of water according to the size of the plot of land, the moment of intervention, the timing and the cultures to be irrigated.

We underline that the maintenance of the network is made prior to the beginning of the campaign (countryside) of irrigation in the form of “touisa” and financial resources have never been a means of access to water. The water source is considered as a benefit of the community regardless of its location.

Keywords community, participation, preservation, fragile ecosystem, Algeria.

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