Morocco

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Morocco is part of:
Africa · Arab States · Middle East · Northern Africa ·
Water Basins of Morocco:
Daoura · Dra · Guir · Oued Bon Naima · Tafna ·
Facts & Figures edit
flag_Morocco.png
Capital Rabat
Neighbouring Countries Algeria, Spain
Total Area 446,550 km2
  - Water 250 km2 (0.06%) / 6 m2/ha
  - Land 446,300 km2
Coastline 1,835 km
Population 30,495,000 (68 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.646 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 39.5 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $90,470 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $4,000
National UN Presence FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, WHO, UNICEF, WB, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UNIDO, UNECA
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 93,723 km2 (21%)
     - Arable 84,797 km2 (19%)
     - Permanent Crops 8,926 km2 (2%)
     - Irrigated 14,450 km2
  - Non cultivated 68,844 km2 (79%)
Average Annual RainfallD 346 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 29 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 0.63 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 87%
  - For Domestic Use 10%
  - For Industrial Use 3%
  - Per Capita 431 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 81%
     - Urban population 99%
     - Rural population 56%
  - Improved Sanitation 73%
     - Urban population 88%
     - Rural population 52%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

> Articles | Projects & Case studies | Publications & Web resources | Who is who | Maps
> Sector Assessment | Sector Coordination | Donor Profile

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Contents

News

Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

With less than 1000 cubic meters of annual freshwater resources per capita, Morocco is considered a water-scarce country. Morocco’s surface freshwater resources include lakes, rivers, coastal lagoons and estuaries. Most of Morocco’s permanent lakes, including Aguelmame Sidi Ali (500 hectares), are located in the Middle Atlas region. Most of the country’s rivers are seasonal. The Moulouya, Sebou, Bou Regreg, Umm Rbia, Loukkous, and Transift are the largest rivers and are used primarily for irrigation and generation of electricity. The Al Wahda Dam (also known as M’Jarra) was constructed in1996 on the Ouergha River in Sidi Kacem Province in northwestern Morocco. With a capacity of 9714 million cubic meters, the Al Wahda Dam is the second-largest in Africa (after the Aswan High Dam) and supplies hydroelectric power (440 gigawatt hours annually), water for irrigation and drinking, and controls flooding. Observers have questioned the sustainability of the dam’s benefits because the reservoir is losing an estimated 60 million cubic meters of capacity annually as a result of siltification from erosion. The dam has also altered coastal ecosystems, increasing erosion, endangering habitat, and reducing fish stocks.


Morocco’s coastal lagoons and estuaries support high levels of biodiversity and serve as nurseries for many species, including commercial saltwater species. The main Moroccan estuaries are Moulouya estuary on the Mediterranean coast and Sebou and Oum-Er-Rbiâs on the Atlantic coast. The most important of the brackish water systems are the lagoons of Nador, Restinga-Smir, Moulay Bousselham, and the lagoon-complex of Oualidia-Sidi Moussa.


Morocco has annual freshwater renewable water resources of about 29 cubic kilometers, 22 of which are surface water. The balance is from groundwater sources. In 2007, 87% of freshwater withdrawal in Morocco was used for agriculture, 10% for domestic uses, and 3% for industry. About 1.4 million hectares of land is irrigated.


Morocco’s rainfall varies among the country’s climatic zones and from year to year. On average, the desert and dry zones (78% of the country) receive less than 250 millimeters of rain annually. The semiarid zone, which includes the major cereal-growing areas and covers about 15% of the country, receives 250–500 millimeters of rainfall per year. The subhumid and humid zones in the mountain ranges and localized coastal areas (7% of total land) receive more than 500 millimeters of rainfall per year. Drought is recurrent, and the effects of climate change are evident; rainfall has been decreasing in all regions of the country over the last several decades.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Legal Framework

Morocco’s 1995 Water Law (Law No. 10-95) provides that water resources belong to the public domain unless they are subject to prior recognized and vested rights. The Water Law decentralized management of water resources to basin-level agencies and introduced a consultative process through which water users and public authorities develop water use, development and distribution plans. Potable water receives priority over other uses in times of water shortage, giving highest priority to local population centers and the watering of livestock. The law includes an environmental mandate and establishes a “polluter pays” principle.


Law No. 78-00 (1978) spells out the responsibilities of organizations and local governments for the delivery of potable water, sanitation, and wastewater treatment. Local municipalities can elect to deliver services through a regional enterprise or delegate that responsibility to the National Potable Water Board (Office National de l’ Eau Potable, ONEP) or a private firm.


The Agricultural Investment Code of 1969 supports development of irrigated farmland and imposes a minimum plot-size of 5 hectares for irrigated land.


Institutional Framework

The Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment has central-level authority for Morocco’s water resources. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries is responsible for irrigation water. The High Council on Water and Climate is responsible for formulating national water policy. Catchment Basin Authorities author basin master plans and issue water-usage permits. Water-user associations formed at local community levels work with local authorities to manage distribution of water resources and maintenance of infrastructure. In some areas where traditional khattara systems are operational, they have formed the basis for water-user associations recognized under formal law.


Local municipalities are responsible for local water and sanitation services. Public operators of water and sanitation services include 13 municipally owned organizations and a growing number of private enterprises. The National Potable Water Board (ONEP) is responsible for 80% of the nation’s potable water production and for water distribution in smaller towns and rural areas (including about 300 medium to small towns).

The Ministry of Equipment conducts water-resource quality inventories throughout the year, which allows for the mapping of water quality by comparing the results of physical-chemical and bacteriological tests.


Government Reforms and Interventions

Morocco’s water-sector challenges include the need to manage scarce water resources, weaknesses in sector governance and institutions, inefficient agricultural water use, and improvement of delivery of potable water countrywide. Two of the government’s large water projects have focused on the supply of drinking water in rural and urban areas. Morocco’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, which began in 2005 and is scheduled to run through 2012, is designed to increase access to potable water in rural areas of El Jaded and Safi provinces. The project also aims to strengthen the National Potable Water Authority (ONEP)’s capacity and to support development and strengthening of Water User Associations. The project has five subprojects in each province. As of the end of 2009, work was underway in all five subprojects of El Jaded Province, and project implementation was underway in Safi Province. Intensive social mobilization activities are ongoing in both provinces.


Morocco’s Improved Access to Water and Sanitation Services Project, which began in 2007 and is scheduled to conclude at the end of 2010, followed an output-based approach providing connection to water and sanitation services for low-income beneficiary households in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the urban centers of Casablanca, Tangiers, and Meknes. The project has faced challenges providing services in an efficient fashion in informal settlements but has increased its original target of reaching 11,500 households by an additional 8500 poor households currently without services and is developing a model for service provision that can be used in other urban locations.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities

Pollution from untreated domestic and industrial waste and pesticide runoff is increasingly contaminating water resources. Drainage, development, and urbanization are major threats to wetlands and coastal ecosystems, and coastal construction and urban and industrial expansion have destroyed wetlands. Pollution threatens estuaries, lagoons and lower river courses.


Donor Involvement

USAID has been supporting the government of Morocco’s efforts to address challenges in the water sector since the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1974, USAID contributed to the construction of water projects such as the Mohammed V and Mocha Hamada dams, which allowed for productive use of thousands of hectares of semiarid land in the Oriental Region and continues to contribute to the livelihood of more than 50,000 seminomadic people. In the 1999–2004 period, USAID helped the government establish the Souses-Massa River Basin Agency and completed pilot projects relating to surface and groundwater measurement and drip irrigation. USAID’s Watershed Protection and Management (WPM) project, which concluded in 2005, improved water resources management in the Souss-Massa River Basin by promoting the efficient and sustainable use of forest, soil, and water resources in the Souss-Massa and Nakhla watershed through agroforestry and soil-erosion control activities and strengthening local capacity to manage natural resources.


Most recently, USAID’s assistance program (2009–2013) promotes the optimal use of water resources to increase productivity, competitiveness and employment in the agricultural sector. Through its US $40 million new Moroccan Economic Competitiveness Program (MEC), USAID is supporting the government’s plans to promote more efficient use of water in the Plan Maroc Vert (PMV) initiative, including: integrated management of water resources; waste-water reuse; irrigation financing; and energy efficiency. Specific activities include support for the use of treated wastewater use in agriculture and development of Management Information Systems (MIS) for the Water Basin Agencies and the Regional Offices for Agricultural Development (ORMWA).


Over the course of the MCC Compact period (2008–2013), MCC will support government efforts to increase the efficiency of water use to enhance the yield and profitability of fruit-tree production in the target areas through irrigation infrastructure improvements, which include: concrete lining of existing earthen canals, construction of diversion weir, storage basin and pumping stations; work on springs; and repair of subsurface drainage canals. The MCC will also provide assistance to existing agricultural water users’ associations in operations, management, and maintenance of irrigation water distribution systems.


The World Bank is funding two new large water projects implemented by the government – one focused on drinking-water supply and the second on irrigation. The US $216 million Regional Potable Water Supply Systems Project (2010–2015) is designed to support the government’s plans to increase access to potable-water supply for selected communities in the project provinces of Nador, Driesch, Safi, Youssoufia, Sidi Bennour, and Errachidia. Project components include: (1) the extension or the renewal of water production systems, regional trunk lines for bulk water transmission, rural conveyance laterals, pump stations and tanks to supply villages, and in village tanks and public standpipe delivery systems; (2) mitigation of potential environmental impacts related to increased graywater flows in villages that may opt for Household Connection (HC) Service; and (3) implementation support and capacity-building to ONEP.


The second new World Bank-funded project is the US $156 million Oum Er Rbia Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project (2010–2016), which is designed to increase agricultural productivity and to promote more sustainable use of irrigation water. Project components aim to: (1) provide participating farmers with irrigation service necessary for high-efficiency drip irrigation and development of water supply contracts between farmers and the ORMVA (Office Régional de Mise en Valeur Agricole, the regional agricultural development office) and farmers; (2) improve targeted farmers’ access to technology, financing and agricultural markets; and (3) assist implementing agencies (the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, ORMVAs) in developing capacity for project management and monitoring and evaluation.


The second new World Bank-funded project is the US $156 million Oum Er Rbia Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project (2010–2016), which is designed to increase agricultural productivity and to promote more sustainable use of irrigation water. Project components aim to: (1) provide participating farmers with irrigation service necessary for high-efficiency drip irrigation and development of water supply contracts between farmers and the ORMVA (Office Régional de Mise en Valeur Agricole, the regional agricultural development office) and farmers; (2) improve targeted farmers’ access to technology, financing and agricultural markets; and (3) assist implementing agencies (the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, ORMVAs) in developing capacity for project management and monitoring and evaluation.


The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) is funding new irrigation schemes (EUR €114 million) and PAGER, a safe drinking-water project in rural areas (EUR €311 million).

Articles

Recently updated articles on Morocco
  1. Morocco/articles ‎(1,001 views) . . WikiBot
  2. Morocco/publications ‎(862 views) . . WikiBot
  3. Morocco/Maps ‎(906 views) . . WikiBot
  4. Morocco/projects ‎(1,183 views) . . WikiBot
  5. Morocco/who is who ‎(908 views) . . WikiBot


See the complete list of WaterWiki articles on Morocco

Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Morocco

(this is a list of the 15 most recently updated entries. To see all projects click here)

  1. Reducing pressure on resources in the Mediterranean through the diversification of income for fishermen, monitoring species, networking associations and advocacy, Morocco ‎(2,072 views) . . WikiBot
  2. Reducing pressure on fisheries resources and biodiversity of the Alboran Sea in the Mediterranean, Morocco ‎(2,219 views) . . WikiBot


Case studies in or about Morocco

(by popularity)

  1. Morocco - Creating artificial rain and watershed basin agencies ‎(14,069 views) . . WikiBot


See the complete list of WaterWiki documented projects in Morocco

Publications

5 most recently updated publications on Morocco
  1. Reaching the Poorest:Rural Water Supply in Morocco ‎(1,770 views) . . WikiBot


5 most popular publications on Morocco
  1. Reaching the Poorest:Rural Water Supply in Morocco ‎(1,770 views) . . WikiBot


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Who is Who

People working in Morocco

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Organizations working in Morocco

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References

See also

External Resources

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