The integrated management of water, energy and agriculture will ensure efficiency and achieve sustainable development, said Monday in Tangier, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka.
Speaking at the opening of the International Forum on the local perspective of the “Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus”, the Minister assured that the integrated management of the water, energy and agriculture sectors will to achieve greater efficiency in the implementation of projects related to these vital areas and necessary for the development of the national economy and the achievement of water, energy and food security, in the light of climate change, as well as to the achievement of sustainable development.
Nizar Baraka, in this context, referred to the close relationship between water and energy resources and efforts to ensure food security in Morocco, noting that this subject is of particular importance, given the challenges related to these areas and the need to support the sustainable socio-economic development experienced by Morocco.
He further noted that Morocco has taken important steps in the implementation of its water policy since independence, thanks to the insightful vision of the late Hassan II, which was consolidated under the enlightened leadership of King Mohammed. VI, noting that this proactive, forward-looking and ambitious policy is based on the mobilization of water resources, through the construction of large structures intended to store water in times of abundance for reuse in times of scarcity, in addition to ensuring its delivery from areas of abundance to areas of shortage.
After presenting the legal and legislative framework relating to the management of water resources, Nizar Baraka said that Morocco has significant hydraulic infrastructures spread over all regions of the Kingdom, noting that these are 149 large dams. with a total capacity of more than 19 billion m3, 16 large dams under construction, 136 small dams in operation, 16 diversion and water transfer structures, thousands of wells and water points , 9 seawater desalination stations and 158 wastewater treatment stations.
The Minister pointed out that the development of the water sector requires additional energy resources, in the light of climate change and the reduction of water resources, in the face of an increasing demand for water in the agricultural field, noting that this situation requires the mobilization of additional energy-consuming water resources (desalination of seawater to produce around one billion m3 per year, transfer of excess water and connection of basins), which requires integrating these projects, very expensive in terms of energy, in the national energy strategy, in particular in the program of renewable energies.
He thus called for an overhaul of water and energy management by adopting an integrated approach, in order to find solutions based on an integrated assessment of the challenges and the unification of the opportunities offered by the sectors of the water and energy, emphasizing the need to ensure water efficiency and energy efficiency in the areas of industry, tourism and construction, among others.
“The development of renewable energies constitutes a real opportunity to contribute to ensuring water security, through the increase in the energy efficiency of water treatment and transfer facilities, the planning of integrated projects (energy and water) for optimal energy consumption, improving the efficiency of hydroelectric power stations, linking energy-consuming projects to renewable energy sources, and studying the possibilities of using dam reservoirs for the development of photovoltaic panels floating »he noted.
Nizar Baraka said that the agricultural sector, which has experienced remarkable momentum thanks to the Green Morocco Plan (PMV), is an engine of economic development and an effective mechanism for combating poverty in the rural world, in addition to being at the heart of sustainable development and food security concerns, emphasizing that the water sector is at the heart of the reforms adopted, to meet the challenges of continuing efforts to mobilize conventional and unconventional water resources, to develop the resources water for irrigation, and implement a pricing policy aimed at stimulating the economy and adding value to water.
“Despite the efforts made, the demand for irrigation water continues to increase, in particular through the increasing pumping of groundwater, and the yield of irrigation water remains below the required level”he noted, calling for reducing water losses in transport and distribution networks in the irrigated area, containing the demand for irrigation water, and strengthening development management and control mechanisms. private irrigation, especially from groundwater, as well as to orient farmers towards sustainable irrigation methods, and to invest in the modernization of agriculture as a key means to ensure and develop water security and eating.
This two-day event, organized by the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region Council and the Mediterranean Climate House (MCC), aims to understand the long-term impacts of the water-energy-food security nexus nexus on growth, ways to improve coherence between national, regional and local planning and priorities, and the importance of promoting private sector investment in the Nexus.
It also aims to contribute to the development of integrated regional policies, capable of establishing Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima as a pilot region, by advocating new ways of thinking about the governance of the natural resources necessary to provide all human needs. basic water, energy and food resources in an environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially inclusive manner, which is also capable of coping with shocks and disasters.