American Journal of Environmental Sciences

The Water Demand Management by Monitoring the Technology Performance and the Water Use Efficiency

Fraj Chemak

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2012.241.247

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 3

Pages 241-247

Abstract

Problem statement: Given the climate constraints and the limited resources, Tunisia has developed the irrigated sector in order to diversify the agricultural production and to meet the food needs of the population. Today the policy of water supply reaches its limits and the efforts should be turned to the management of the water demand. Within this context, this research aims to analyze the farming system, the technology performance and the water use efficiency of the irrigated farms in the Sidi Bouzid region. Approach: By monitoring the sample of 47 farms during the harvesting years 2007, 2008 and 2009 we have gathered database which involved technical and economical details. By analyzing the farming system we have identified the technology process in order to estimate the production frontier using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach. The sub-vector approach of the DEA model was used to compute the water use efficiency. Results: The empirical findings showed that farmers grow olive trees, cereal crops, forage crops and horticulture crops. During the surveyed period the share of the different crops did not change significantly. The water consumption reaches only an average of 2700 m3/ha. However, the charge of irrigation represents more than 40% out of the total expenditures. The results of the DEA model showed that 50% of farms are inefficient and the technical efficiency reaches an average of 81%. The average of the scale efficiency reached 88%. However, the water use efficiency did not exceed an average of 68%. Hence, 32% of the water currently used should be saved. Conclusion: There is a wide gap to improve skills and the ability of the farmers to achieve the best of the water use efficiency. Thus, we suggest that the state intervention is necessary not only to reduce the wasting of water but also to set up an accompanying device that reconciles water conservation and the production targets.

Copyright

© 2012 Fraj Chemak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.