Morocco is experiencing an unprecedented water shortage. The situation is worsening day by day as evidenced by the figures of the General Directorate of Hydraulics concerning the situation of the dams. As of August 31, 2022, the filling rate of dams at the national level is only 25.8%, while on the same date in 2021, this rate had reached 40.5%. Currently, reserves stand at 4.1 billion cubic meters while at the same date last year, they stood at 6.5 billion cubic meters. Several dams are almost dry. This is particularly the case of the Abdelmoumen dam, which, it should be remembered, is one of the largest in the Souss-Massa region.
It currently has an occupancy rate of just 1.9% compared to 10.5% at the same time last year. This dam has a total reserve of only 3.7 billion cubic meters against 20.9 billion cubic meters during the same period in 2021. Among the other dams strongly affected by the drought is the Al Massira dam, which has a filling rate of at barely 4.2% against 10% a year ago. Its current reserves stand at 112.5 billion cubic meters against 266.4 billion cubic meters last year. Worrying situation also for the 3rd largest dam, namely Bin El Ouidane, its filling rate is 9.4% against 20.7% in 2021. The Hassan II dam shows a filling rate of 9.3% against 26 .4% on the same date in 2021. Regarding the situation of the other dams, the Al Wahda dam, the largest dam in Morocco, currently has a filling rate of 44.1% against 65.5% on the same date in 2021. Some dams show a satisfactory situation. This is particularly the case of the Tangier-Mediterranean dam with a filling rate of 94.6%, Garde Sebou (97.3%), the Chefchaouen dam (90.9%), Allal El Fassi (89.5%).
Water demand will exceed supply by 40% by 2030
The World Bank is sounding the alarm on the global water situation. Water is a limited and increasingly scarce resource. The World Bank estimates that one in four people live in water-scarce areas. “The global water crisis is undermining our ability to produce food, protect livelihoods and build strong economies. And this crisis is getting worse, with demand for water expected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030,” the institution laments. According to the World Bank, poor and vulnerable populations will be disproportionately affected, leading to growing inequalities. The need for effective and collaborative water management will only grow as the effects of climate change put increasing pressure on global resources.
The international organization believes that well-designed governance and budgetary reforms, as well as autonomous and accountable institutions are essential to improve the management of water resources. The World Bank believes that good governance and well-designed fiscal reforms, as well as empowered and accountable institutions are essential to improving water resource management. Good governance must also be supported by appropriate investments. Water security is far from guaranteed in many countries. It is estimated that 150 billion dollars would be needed each year to guarantee universal access to drinking water and sanitation in the world. Droughts, floods and other water-related hazards are escalating, groundwater is over-exploited and polluted, and cities and farms face severe water shortages. These phenomena will jeopardize development gains and will require new investments in water management solutions.