Kuper Marcel

Contact Info

Kuper Marcel
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UMR G-EAU - CIRAD - INRAE - 361, rue JF Breton - BP 5095 - 34196 Montpellier Cedex 5
Socio-Hydro - Dynamiques Socio-Hydrologiques des territoires de l'eau


  • Sciences de l’eau.


Marcel Kuper (PhD, HDR) is a senior scientist in water governance at Cirad and currently director of the G-Eau research unit. He is interested in the actors, institutions and infrastructure of irrigation systems and waterscapes. He studies the contemporary dynamics of large-scale irrigation schemes, community-managed irrigation systems and private irrigation, in particular in North and West Africa, South Asia, and South America.

Marcel Kuper has coordinated several research projects and is currently the French coordinator of the project “Transformations to Groundwater Sustainability” (https://www.t2sgroundwater.org/) and a member of the Massire project (https://massire.net/), which aims to strengthen agricultural and rural innovation systems in the oasis and arid zones of North Africa. Marcel has been and is involved in the supervision and co-supervision of numerous PhD studies in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the editorial board of the international journal ‘Irrigation and Drainage’.



  • Selected articles

Kuper M, Hammani A, Chohin A, Garin P, Saaf M. 2012. When groundwater takes over: Linking 40 years of agricultural and groundwater dynamics in a large-scale irrigation scheme in Morocco. Irrigation and Drainage 61(S1): 45-53.

Benouniche M, Kuper M, Hammani A, Boesveld H. 2014. Making the user visible: analysing irrigation practices and farmers’ logic to explain actual drip irrigation performance. Irrigation Science 32(6): 405-420.

Kuper M, Amichi H, Mayaux P. (2017). Groundwater use in North Africa as a cautionary tale for climate change adaptation. Water International 42(6): 725-740.

Kuper M, Leduc C, Massuel S, Bouarfa S. (2017). Groundwater-based agriculture in the Mediterranean. Hydrogeological Journal 25(6): 1525-1528.

Hamamouche MF, Kuper M, Riaux J, Leduc C. (2017). Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources in a community-managed irrigation system — The case of the Sidi Okba palm grove in the Algerian Sahara. Agricultural Water Management 193: 116-130.

Petit O, Kuper M, Ameur F. (2018). From worker to peasant and then to entrepreneur? Land reform and agrarian change in the Saïss (Morocco). World Development 105: 119–131.

Massuel S, Riaux J, Molle F, Kuper M, Ogilvie A, Collard AL, Leduc C, Barreteau O. (2018). Inspiring a broader socio-hydrological negotiation approach with interdisciplinary field-based experience. Water Resources Research, 54(4): 2510-2522.

Hamamouche MF, Kuper M, Amichi H, Lejars C, Ghodbani T. (2018). New reading of Saharan agricultural transformation: Continuities of ancient oases and their extensions (Algeria). World Development 107: 210-223.

Naouri M, Kuper M, Hartani T. (2020). The power of translation: Innovation dialogues in the context of farmer-led innovation in the Algerian Sahara. Agricultural Systems 180, 102793.

Vos J, Boelens R, Venot JP, Kuper M. (2020). Rooted Water Collectives: Towards an Analytical Framework. Ecological Economics 173, 106651.

  • Selected books and book chapters

Imache A, Hartani T, Bouarfa S, Kuper M. (2010). La Mitidja, 20 ans après : réalités agricoles aux portes d'Alger. Alpha Editions, Alger, Algérie, 283 pp. ISBN : 978-994-7886-65-6 ; Editions Quae, Paris, France. e-ISBN : 978-2-7592-1643-7.

Kuper M, Faysse N, Hammani A, Hartani T, Marlet S, Hamamouche MF, Ameur F. 2016. Liberation or Anarchy? The Janus Nature of Groundwater Use on North Africa’s New Irrigation Frontiers. In: Integrated Groundwater Management: Concepts, Approaches and Challenges, Jakeman AJ, Barreteau O, Hunt RJ, Rinaudo JD, Ross A (Eds). Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: pp. 583-615. ISBN 978-3-319-23576-9.

Venot JP, Kuper M, Zwarteveen M. (2017). Drip Irrigation for Agriculture: Untold stories of efficiency, innovation and development. Routledge, Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management. ISBN: 978-1-13-868707-3

Kuper M, Ameur F., Hammani A. (2017). Unraveling the enduring paradox of increased pressure on groundwater through efficient drip irrigation. In: Venot J.P, Kuper M; Zwarteveen M, Drip Irrigation for Agriculture: Untold stories of efficiency, innovation and development. Routledge/Earth Scan Series, Chapter 5, pp 85-104.

Kuper M, Benouniche M, Naouri M, Zwarteveen M. (2017). ‘Bricolage’ as an Everyday Practice of Contestation of Smallholders Engaging with Drip Irrigation. In: Venot J.P, Kuper M; Zwarteveen M, Drip Irrigation for Agriculture: Untold stories of efficiency, innovation and development. Routledge/Earth Scan Series, Chapter 15, pp. 256-265.

Kuper M, Molle F. (2017). Durabilité de l’exploitation des eaux souterraines dans le pourtour Méditerranéen. In: Caron P, Valette E, Wassenaar T, Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge G, Papazian V (éds), Des territoires vivants pour transformer le monde. Quae Editions, Paris, chapitre 6: 49-53.

Amichi H, Kuper M, Bouarfa S. 2018. The legitimacy of tilling the land versus land use rights: Algerian farmers' land appropriation processes on public land. In: Ben Hounet Y (ed.), Law and Property in Algeria: Anthropological Perspectives. Main Series: Studies in the History and Society of the Maghrib, Brill Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN: 9789004357624

Sanchis-Ibor C, Molle F, Kuper, M. 2020. Irrigation and Water Governance. In: Zribi, M.; Brocca, L.; Tramblay, Y.; Molle, F. (eds.). Water Resources in the Mediterranean Region, Cambridge MA: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128180877: 77-106.


For more information

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcel-Kuper

Scholar google: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0gZ51VcAAAAJ&hl=fr&oi=sra

AgriTrop: https://agritrop.cirad.fr/view/creators/Kuper=3AMarcel=3A=3A.date.html

Orcid: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1240-0592

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