The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a results-based program worth $350 million to support Morocco in the implementation of its National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program (PNAEPI, 2020-2027), within the framework of the National Water Plan (PNE, 2020-2050).
Launched in 2020, the PNAEPI aims to improve water security by accelerating investments in the sector, and by strengthening the resilience of drinking water supply and irrigation.
The World Bank program will help fund a subset of activities included in the PNAEPI through three strategic pillars, namely strengthening water sector governance, improving financial sustainability and water use efficiency, and better integrating non-conventional water resources, the international financial institution said in a statement.
The Program contributes to the World Bank’s strategic priorities in the MENA region, including gender equality and climate change, and it supports the implementation of the recommendations of the World Bank’s Morocco Climate and Development Report, published in October 2022.
“Guaranteeing access to natural resources, in particular water, while preserving them, is essential to building a sustainable future in Morocco,” said Jesko Hentschel, Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank, quoted by the press release.
“With this in mind, this new Program aims to strengthen water security for all in Morocco and provides support for the updating and adoption of the National Water Plan (PNE) which defines the sector’s 30-year vision,” he adds.
In addition to the support provided to the CWP, the new program will contribute to strengthening the governance of the water sector by protecting groundwater resources, improving the quality and availability of water-related information, supporting the performance of water basin agencies, developing water information and data systems and finally, imposing the publication of reports on multi-service operators.
The Program will also be used to support government efforts to improve financial sustainability and water use efficiency, the World Bank says.
This policy will improve the climate resilience of the water sector, notably through the development of a financial model and the adoption of a financial sustainability action plan to inform pricing strategies for specific sub-sectors.
“This Program will support government efforts to strengthen recognition of the value of water, increase cost transparency along the water value chain, and promote more efficient and efficient use of scarce water resources,” said Marcus Wishart, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist and Program Co-Lead at the World Bank.
In addition, the Program aims to improve an environment conducive to desalination and the reuse of treated water, two almost essential solutions for increasing Morocco’s water resources.
“In concrete terms, the Program aims to save 25 million m3 of drinking water in the distribution networks, which is the equivalent of the annual consumption in the provinces of El Jadida and Sidi Bennour; it also aims to make 52 million m3 of treated wastewater available for reuse, which represents 52% of the PNAEPI target of 100 million treated wastewater by 2030,” explains Carolina Dominguez Torres, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist and Program Manager at the World Bank.