Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Government Measures to ‘Ensure Water Security’ in Morocco

Government Measures to ‘Ensure Water Security’ in Morocco

Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 - 09:15
Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani (Reuters)
Rabat- Latifa Larousni

Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani has announced a set of measures to tackle water shortages and provide drinking water, especially in villages.

These measures are to be taken due to poor rains and the successive years of droughts.

Addressing the House of Representatives during its monthly accountability session, which focused on the government's policy in providing water resources, Othmani said ensuring “water security” has played a major role in development and stability.

This comes in light of the dynamism witnessed by the Moroccan economy, especially in the agriculture, industry, and tourism sectors.

Meanwhile, the Premier affirmed his good relations with King Mohammed VI, noting that all major and strategic plans were overseen by the King, and the strategies adopted by the government were approved by the Cabinet.

Morocco’s geographic location has placed it among countries that have a great variation in the distribution of its water resources, which necessitated, since the 1960s, a proactive, far-reaching policy approach in the field of water, Othmani explained.

He stressed that this policy was mainly based on the construction of dams to store water in rainy years to be used later to avoid water shortages, and it was supervised by the late King Hassan II.

The policy has enabled the construction of a significant water infrastructure distributed geographically among the Kingdom’s regions, he added.

The official said 145 large dams and 130 small dams were currently being used, in addition to 14 large dams and 20 small dams under construction, as well as thousands of wells for extracting groundwater.

This has improved access to clean drinking water and has met industrial and tourist water needs, as well as development of large-scale irrigation farming in light of difficult conditions characterized by poor rains and the successive periods of drought.

Othmani also reviewed the measures to be taken by the government in the framework of implementation of the 2020-2027 National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program and the draft of the National Water Plan for the period between 2020 and 2030.

He presented the five pillars on which the national program is based, explaining that the policy of building dams and desalinating seawater would continue.

He also announced opening three major desalination plants over the coming years.

Editor Picks