The 2021-2022 emergency plan to guarantee the supply of drinking water in the hydraulic basins of Moulouya, Oum Er Rbia and Tensift, to which a budget of 2.42 billion dirhams (MMDH) has been allocated, aims to deal with the water deficit from which these basins suffer, said Friday in Rabat the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka.
In addition to this envelope, nearly 1 billion dirhams have been programmed for the 2020-2021 period, said Nizar Baraka. The Minister noted that despite the efforts made and the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027, some basins suffer from a water deficit, including the Moulouya basin (Oujda and Oriental ), noting that it recorded a drop in the filling rate which does not exceed 11%.
This situation is due on the one hand to climate change and the drop in precipitation and on the other hand to the delay in the implementation of the national water strategy, explained the Minister, specifying that a desalination station water in Saidia was to be completed by the end of 2018, in order to guarantee the water supply for the population of Nador Driouch and Saidia.
In order to cope with this water deficit, a program has been set up for the Moulouya basin. With an envelope of 1.3 billion dirhams, this program aims to mobilize all possible water resources, in particular through the exploration of new groundwater or the launch of a water desalination program in Nador, let the minister know.
It was also carried out in this context to the establishment of new hill dams for the Moulouya basin, he said announcing the realization in the future of 11 hill dams.
Mr. Baraka also pointed out that the Tensift basin is experiencing a water deficit with a filling rate of 34%, pointing out in this regard that the city of Marrakech also suffers from a water problem, which has required the mobilization of 20 Mm3 from a dam in order to guarantee the water supply for this city.
In addition, efforts were made to solve the problem of “water theft” in the region and that of the yield of the water canals which recorded losses ranging from 40% to 60%.
Also, the Minister announced the launch in the coming weeks of the major water desalination project in Casablanca of 300 Mm3.
The connection from Casablanca north to Casablanca south has contributed to reducing the pressure on the El Massira dam, he noted, adding that for the Bouregreg basin, there will be recourse to the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah dam.
In addition, hill dams will be built in the Oum Er Rbia basin, in addition to guaranteeing integrated water management for groundwater in the Berrechid region, the minister said, pointing out status of contracting in this important agricultural area to meet water needs but not at the expense of drinking water.
In addition to these programs of an urgent nature, the minister announced the launch this year of a program consisting of 120 hill dams which should end in 2024, noting in this regard that hill dams play an important role in the fight against flooding. besides guaranteeing water for livestock and groundwater supply.
In this sense, the Minister alerted on the excessive exploitation of the water table, indicating that the city of Berrechid alone experiences the depletion of 2 m3 of the water table annually, and the region of Al Houz with 1 .5 m3, emphasizing the need to deal with this real problem in a “rational” way based on integrated water management as well as responsible water use and demand management.