Regulatory framework for drinking water, wastewater discharge and reuse
The following organisations play an important role in the regulation of drinking water, wastewater treatment and reuse.
Drinking water quality regulations
Tunisia has two standards that apply to drinking water production: standard NT09–13 (1983) applies to surface water used for drinking water production; standard NT09–14 (1983) applies to drinking water.
Municipal and industrial wastewater quality regulations
According to Decree No 79–768 (8 Sep 1979), modified by Decree No 94–2050 (3 Oct 1994) and Decree 2001–1534 (25 Jun 2001), domestic effluents must be discharged into the public sewerage network, unless ONAS deems the connection not feasible, in which case the premise’s owner will be advised on alternatives.
Water reuse regulations
Tunisia is determined to develop water reuse: its objective is to reuse 50% of treated wastewater by 2014 and 60% by 2016 (current reuse levels hover around 30%).
Water in industry: Phosphates
Tunisia is the world’s fifth largest phosphate producer. The country has seven open pit mines and one underground mine, all located around Gafsa in the south of the country. They are operated by the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG). Annual production is about 8 million tonnes and Tunisia processes nearly 85% of it through the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), which has factories along the coast in Sfax, Gabès and Skhira. The companies, both state–owned, merged in 1996 and are generally referred to as GCT. They employ more than 10,000 people in the Gabès area.
Future regulatory scenario and conclusions
Tunisia is the most advanced country in North Africa with regards to water and wastewater infrastructure, including regulation. It is a signatory of the Barcelona Convention to prevent pollution in the Mediterranean Sea and has taken its commitment seriously. Its ambitious investment plans in the wastewater and reuse sectors illustrate this commitment.
List of laws, standards and policies