The Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, stressed that the water situation in Morocco is “worrying”, and announced that the government is currently drawing up a plan to find a solution.
“The water situation is worrying for several reasons, in particular because Morocco is threatened by water shortage and years of drought, as is the case for this year, which has had a great impact on population “Nizar Baraka said during a question-and-answer session in the House of Representatives.
The Minister noted that the level of precipitation at the national level decreased by 84% compared to a normal year, but thanks to recent rains, it fell to 45%, further noting that this decrease had started since 2018.
Furthermore, he explained that the increase in average temperature over the past 5 years has led to water evaporation, which causes problems with soils and irrigation. He added that another element which will have an impact on the water situation in Morocco, namely the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has led to an increase in the price of a certain number of basic materials used in the construction of dams.
On the other hand, Nizar Baraka said that the government has drawn up a plan to ensure water security based on accelerating the pace of the program set by the King for 2020-2027, namely the completion of dams.
Indeed, the process of completing 16 dams has started, the minister noted, adding that the government’s goal is to complete 27 dams by 2027, which will increase the volume of water storage from 19 billion cubic meters to 24 billion cubic meters, specifying that this will be an important achievement.
He pointed out that “Given the lack of rainfall, we cannot be satisfied with dams, but it is necessary to use water desalination, and we have drawn up a special desalination plan for coastal areas, because thanks to the desalination of water, we are going to be able to ensure that the water reaches the coastal areas, while the interior of the country will be supplied with water from the dams”.
The Minister of Equipment and Water also insisted on the need to use wastewater: “We currently use 70 million cubic meters, while we can use 700 million cubic meters”, he says.
According to him, Morocco has another problem, and it concerns the waste of water potential, he explains that groundwater is over-stressed, also recalling the problem of unregulated wells and that of water theft.
“Between 30 to 40 percent of drinking water and irrigation water is wasted due to inefficiency, and we also suffer from the problem of water theft, as 40 percent of the water intended to agriculture is stolen”adds the same source.
Nizar Baraka explained that “the government will focus on accelerating the pace of work related to integrated water management”noting in this context that “ the ministry will sign an agreement for Errachidia next week”.