Tackling Morocco’s Water Crisis: A Unified Approach To Dam Construction And Management – OpEd


As Morocco grapples with a profound water crisis, the filling of dams emerges as a critical issue vital for the nation’s survival. In response, the government has taken proactive measures, particularly in the spheres of dam construction and water resource management.

Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, has addressed concerns raised by the Popular Movement (MP) regarding the proliferation of small dams in rural and mountainous areas. Baraka highlighted the nation’s strategies to confront the crisis and secure an adequate water supply for all citizens.

“Our country’s unique geography poses challenges in managing water resources,” noted Baraka, emphasizing the scarcity and unpredictable distribution of water. With climate change exacerbating these issues, effective management becomes increasingly crucial.

Morocco’s strategy centers on building surface water storage infrastructure essential for meeting water needs during droughts. Alongside existing large dams, the Kingdom boasts 141 operational small dams, with additional projects underway.

To bolster these efforts, the national program for drinking water and irrigation between 2020 and 2027 prioritizes the construction of small and medium dams. This initiative embraces a participatory model, aiming to stimulate local development and ensure project sustainability.

To enhance efficiency, a national thematic committee on small and medium dams has been established, fostering collaboration among various ministries and government bodies. Notably, a framework partnership agreement signed in March 2022 underscores a collective endeavor to fund and improve existing dams while launching new projects.

Baraka stressed the importance of inclusivity, affirming that proposals for dams not covered in the initial agreement can be submitted for consideration in subsequent phases, ensuring a comprehensive approach to dam construction and management.

Looking ahead, the planning of small and medium dams across Morocco will align with this integrated strategy, with a strong emphasis on driving local development and securing the long-term viability of water resources. As the nation confronts its water challenges, these concerted efforts underscore a commitment to sustainability and resilience in adversity’s face.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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