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The water crisis settles in Morocco

Morocco is still among the countries that face water stress of different levels. Specifically, physical water stress refers to the ratio of the total amount of freshwater collected annually by all major sectors (including environmental water requirements) and the total amount of renewable freshwater resources.

More than 2 billion people live in countries with high levels of physical water stress, according to the UN Global Report on Water Resources Development 2019 “Leave no one behind” published by the Unesco for UN-Water.

Although global water stress is only 11%, 31 countries (including Morocco) face water stress of between 25% (the minimum threshold for water stress) and 70%. In 22 countries, water stress is over 70%, which means that these countries are under heavy water stress. Note that the experience of fog collection at Aït Baamrane is cited by the authors of the report.

In Morocco, access to basic water services in urban areas is 96%, compared with only 65% ​​in rural areas of the country. The World Resources Institute (WRI), which draws on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), predicted a long-term water stress situation for Morocco.

WRI researchers had noted the predominance of three sectors most voracious in water consumption: industrial, agricultural and domestic. To address the problem of water scarcity, the government has put in place an emergency program. The national water plan, intended to ensure the water security of the Kingdom, will require more than MAD 200 billion by 2030.

Several countries in the Mena region are located in the red zone: the case of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan … The Arab region is the most affected by water stress in the world. The world’s total renewable water resources amount to an average of 7,453 m3 per year and per capita, while they are only 736 m3 per capita per year in this region, according to the latest data available from Aquastat (FAO’s Global Water Information System, developed by the Land and Water Division).

Water scarcity, per capita, is intensifying, and will continue to increase with population growth and climate change, alerting the publication “Do not leave anyone behind”. These trends have contributed to the depletion of groundwater, the loss of arable land for agricultural production and the displacement of people when water resources were insufficient for health, well-being and livelihoods. The challenge of ensuring access to water for all in water shortages is even greater in conflict situations where water infrastructure has been damaged, destroyed and targeted …

The world situation is no better

Under the combined effect of population growth, socio-economic development and changing patterns of consumption, world water use has increased annually by about 1% since the 1980s of increase at a similar rate until 2050 (20% to 30% more than the current level of use). And this, mainly because of the increasing use of industry and households.

More than 2 billion people live in countries with high water stress and about 4 billion people face a severe water shortage at least one month a year. Agriculture (including irrigation, livestock and aquaculture) is by far the largest consumer of water resources. It accounts for 69% of annual water withdrawals worldwide, compared to 19% for industry (including electricity generation) and 12% for households.

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