North-Western Sahara aquifer system

The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) covers a total area of over one million km2: 700 000 km2 in Algeria, 80 000 km2 in Tunisia and 250 000 km2 in Libya. 

It contains sedimentary deposits that have two main levels of aquifers, the Intercalary Continental (IC) and the Terminal Complex (TC). The three NWSAS countries have embraced an approach of joint management. This approach is based on an in-depth knowledge of the aquifer, including projections and simulations of the impacts of intensive water withdrawal. NWSAS is crucial to development in the north-western part of the Sahara desert, especially to secure food for a growing population close to, and even far beyond its borders, and to meet the demands of agriculture, industry, and construction.

(source: UNEP 2010 Africa Water Atlas)