Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Morocco Plans to Spend $1 Billion to Mitigate Drought Effect

Thu 01 Dec 2022 | 01:57 AM
Taarek Refaat

Since 2018, Morocco has suffered from 4 consecutive dry years, which has led to a decline in the stock of surface and groundwater resources. The per capita share of water resources declined from 2,560 cubic meters annually in 1960 to 620 cubic meters in 2020, due to the decline in water resources in parallel with the demographic increase.

Morocco is a climatic hotspot and one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, rapidly approaching the absolute limit of water scarcity of 500 cubic meters of water per person per year, according to World Bank data.

This year, the Kingdom faced the strongest drought in four decades, which affected economic growth, which by the end of the year will not exceed 0.8%, according to Bank Al-Maghrib estimates.

Morocco raised the financial allocations for the national program for the provision of drinking water and irrigation, over a period of 5 years, to 150 billion dirhams (about $14 billion), from 115 billion dirhams as previously planned.

This increase, which exceeds 30%, came after the meeting of the Program Steering Committee today, chaired by Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, with the aim of taking measures to remedy the delay in implementing a number of water projects, in addition to launching studies on additional projects for the short and medium term. This pushes towards raising the pace of investment in this field, and strengthening the financial allocations for the program until 2027," according to a statement issued by the committee's meeting.

The investments of the National Water Saving Program will be distributed mainly in dam projects, desalination of sea water, and interconnection of water basins.

A recent report by the World Bank concluded that Morocco needs to invest $78 billion through 2050 in order to counter the effects of climate change.

Akhannouch affirmed his government's keenness to accelerate the national program for the provision of drinking water and for agricultural purposes, and to work "to confront all forms of waste and indiscriminate exploitation of water."