The Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, said in Rabat that Morocco has significant hydraulic infrastructure, including 149 dams with a total capacity exceeding 19 billion cubic meters (m3).
These infrastructures also include nine seawater desalination stations producing 147 million m3 annually, as well as thousands of groundwater extraction wells, which allows citizens to benefit from continuous drinking water and meet the needs of essential water needs relating to agriculture, irrigation, industry and renewable energies, he explained in response to a question in the House of Representatives.
The Minister also reviewed the various programs in which Morocco has undertaken in terms of water management, including that relating to the irrigation of a million hectares, the construction of hill dams, rural drinking water supply, the national liquid sanitation program and the national water strategy.
Mr. Baraka also highlighted the challenges to be met, particularly in rural areas, in terms of drinking water supply and sanitation systems.
The ratio of water quantity per person averaged 606 cubic meters. However, it varies considerably depending on the capacity of the hydraulic basins. In addition, that of the Loukkos hydraulic basin amounts to 1,200 cubic meters, while that of the Bouregreg basin does not exceed 141 m3, noted the minister, noting that the quantity of water per capita against a background of changes climate will decrease between 10% to 20% by 2030 and between 40% to 50% by 2050.
Mr. Baraka then underlined that the national water strategy will focus on the development of the supply, the management of the demand, the preservation and the protection of water resources in vulnerable areas as well as the reduction of water-related risks, whether it is drought or flooding.
He also underlined the importance of a long-term plan for the hydraulic basins, allowing to anticipate the problems and to guarantee the criterion of sustainability, while emphasizing the need for an integrated environmental management of water, decentralized participatory management and consideration of the economic value of water.
In addition, the Minister referred to the persistence of certain problems, including those already noted by the report on the New Development Model. This mainly concerns the connection to the liquid sanitation network which does not exceed 10% in the rural world, as well as the proportion of families connected to the water network at 65%, despite the proportion of supply in drinking water, reaching 97.8% in the rural world.
Thus and within the framework of the management of water scarcity and the emergence of phenomena such as droughts and floods in Morocco, the government has drawn up, from the National Program for the Supply of Drinking Water and irrigation 2020-2027, a policy aimed at strengthening water supply, said the minister, while stressing the need to accelerate the pace of construction of dams, carry out seawater desalination programs, use to channel water from areas with surpluses to areas with deficits, supply the water table and develop the strategic water reserve.