The objective is to improve service and reduce water wastage by an effort to mobilize resources. It also includes reorganizing and upgrading sector operators. Private participation in management will enter into the equation at a later stage. Environmental policy highlights the economic management of resources, soil and energy, particularly through resource pricing and tax incentives. Water, a vital resource that has becoming increasingly rare, is recognized as a social and economic resource. Never has it attracted as much attention from the government as now, since repeated forecasts of possible shortages in the near future have fuelled a greater awareness of the problem of managing water resources on the part of Algerian authorities. Mobilized water resources come to only about 43% of usable volume – approximately 12 billion cubic meters.
Available resources primarily come from 43 dams, impounded between 1952 and 1995. But, for lack of mantenance, these works are now facing a high silting rate. Potential mobilizable resources in Algeria, estimated at 19 billion cubic meters in total, are relatively low. To counter this serious problem with possibly catastrophic consequences, the government has devoted extraordinary financing to strengthen the storage and distribution infrastructure and improve the daily per capita allocation, currently only 170 cubic meters per capita per year or an aggregate demand of about 5 billion m³/year. The existing dam network already allows for secure supplies of drinking water.
An integrated approach to water management has been adopted and an action program and large-scale development launched. To better manage this resource, a legislative and regulatory framework has led to a genuine “water saving” policy (2010 Finance Law for example).