Current strategies, which mainly aim to invest heavily in infrastructure and desalination, “are neither financially nor environmentally viable”, says a recent World Bank report.
THE document entitled ” Economics of Water Scarcity in the Middle East and North Africa: Institutional Solutions”, actually looks at the seriousness of the water problem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It proposes solutions such as the necessary reforms to be carried out according to World Bank experts to ensure that the institutions in place ensure better management of the allocation of water resources with regard to competing needs.
In a written answer to a parliamentary question on the subject of ” environmental damage to seawater desalination processes“, and of which MoroccoLatestNews holds a copy, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, had pointed out that projects in this area ” are being developed in accordance with national environmental legislative requirements”.
” A systematic environmental and social impact study is also underway to ensure that all desalination plant quality objectives are met.“, she said againfurther noting that “ the necessary measures to be taken to protect the environment, whether during the construction or operation phase“, are clearly defined in the specifications.
The said study should assess the potential impacts on the marine environment. To this end, an environmental approval certificate and the accompanying environmental tolerance booklet will be issued.
In this regard, Nadia Hmaity, Moroccan researcher and environmental activist, founder of the Think Tank Clean transition Morocco, explained to MoroccoLatestNews fr that ” Ihe seawater desalination technology has unfortunately become, in a context of water scarcity, a solution despite the fact that it has been pointed out by numerous international and national scientific and research studies”.
“These have shown that the perimeters of these projects on the marine environment suffer from imbalance and present certain challenges relating to the preservation of the marine ecosystem”she added.
Nadia Hmaity adds in this regard that ” this is why, as civil society concerned about the environment and as environmental activists, we demand that environmental impact studies be carried out in the most rigorous way for the purposes of sustainable solutions with a sustainable vision that can preserve marine wealth for current and future generations while providing answers to water scarcity“.
Also in this spirit, the researcher calls for consider alternative solutions to seawater desalination processes that depend on both the preservation and exploitation of surface water, such as the so-called capture technique, or by the phenomenon of condensation. The seawater desalination technique is very expensive and its processes are very expensive in terms of installations but also in terms of energy, which must remain clean”.
“It would then be necessary for this technology to be based on the consumption and use of clean, renewable and non-fossil energy on the one hand. On the other hand, with regard to the issue of maintenance, unfortunately some investments may very well be lost in gigantic installations which, precisely because of the lack of the latter, damage their environment and may experience certain incidents up to sometimes stop working »said Nadia Hmaity.
The founder of the Think Tank Clean transition Morocco will conclude by stating that “ Morocco has a place of choice in terms of innovation in the search for solutions to climate crises despite the fact that it is an African country that suffers from climate change and repercussions without having contributed significantly. Africa pollutes only up to 5% and yet it suffers in this context of climate change. It is in this sense that we, environmental activists, are asking that other less expensive and cleaner technologies be preferred to those of seawater desalination.“.