What’s being done about the water crisis in Morocco?
~Dams are being built The Moroccan government is proceeding with its Politique des Barrages. This is a policy of water resource management that focuses on the building of dams. The plan is to build three new large dams every year until 2030. These will help protect the surface water and make it more available for use. The Moroccan ministry in charge of water recently announced plans to build 7 new dams starting in 2017. This includes the Fask Dam and the Assaca Dam. These will help mitigate the effects of the growing shortage of water, to provide for crop irrigation and to help compensate for irregular rainfall.
~The fog is being harvested A Moroccan company, Dar Si Hmad, designed and built an exceedingly creative series of mesh panels that collect water droplets out of the fog on the Southwest coast of Morocco near Ait Baamarane. Now this village is the benefactor of fresh water so that the women do not have to walk for three hours each day to obtain safe drinking water for their families. This project was the recipient of the United Nations Climate Change award in 2016. Innovative thinkers are providing innovative solutions.
~Desalination plants provide some fresh water Dam building and fog harvesting alone cannot meet a growing need. So, Morocco is also using desalination plants to turn seawater into fresh water. These plants are expensive and use a lot of energy, but with a growing crisis, Morocco has had to explore all options. By 2015, there were 13 operating plants. A solar-based desalination plant near Marrakech opened in 2016. This innovative plant uses two different types of solar power and two types of desalination strategies to filter five cubic meters of water per hour. Another pioneering effort for a growing problem.
~Waste water reuse plants are being built For many years, wastewater has just been discharged into the sea. In 2004, only 13% of Morocco’s wastewater was treated. But, the National Sewerage Programme was implemented in 2005. The goal is that by 2020, 60% of Morocco’s wastewater will be treated and 80% of urban areas will be linked to a wastewater treatment system.
~Better irrigation water management strategies are being implemented Farming uses a lot of the available water. Managing this water is paramount to reducing the effects of droughts, climate change and a growing population. Efforts are being made to better use the available water and educate farmers in modern irrigating practices. A pilot study in 2012 at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco studied the feasibility of drip irrigation to minimize water use. Research into better water management practices provides an excellent foundation for further creative ideas.
Solving the water crisis in Morocco is a huge effort. Governments, universities and world organizations are implementing many ideas. This is the Macro level. Pioneering ideas. Grand projects. Huge resources. Expensive endeavors. These things move slowly.
But, the families are thirsty now. They are drinking unsafe water out of necessity.
They need help now.
We at The Giving Pool have a smaller scale solution.
A “right now” plan