Feasibility of Exploitation of the Sediment in the Reservoirs for the Sustainability of Surface Water Resource in Tunisia


 Sedimentation occupies the storage capacity of reservoirs and reduces the amount of available surface water resource. The countermeasure to the sedimentation is required especially in arid land where the land erosion is very severe due to low vegetation in the catchment area, and even fine particles are deposited because of the low water rotation of the reservoirs under the climatic condition of clear difference between rainy season and drought season. However, it has not been carried out because the conventional technologies against the sedimentation, such as dredging or bypass for sediment inflow, are quite costly.<br> The authors proposed the exploitation idea which can valorize the sediment and will financially assist the cost of dredging or other countermeasures to the sedimentation. One of the exploitation ways is producing construction bricks. Sediment in Tunisian reservoirs is fine and sticky clay or silt, so there is a potential of the material for producing ceramics. In this study, the current situation of the production of the construction bricks in Tunisia was surveyed; price of raw material, a wholesale price, market price, processing cost and material flow. This information defines the market of construction bricks and the possibility of reservoir sediment for the production of construction bricks can be evaluated.<br> Physical feasibility of the sediment for construction bricks was also investigated by the trial production of small pieces of slate and carrying out the flexure test with them. The slate samples made from the sediment gave almost same strength as the slate made from clay which is used in a brick factory in Tunisia.


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