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Managing Urban Water Scarcity in Morocco : SUMMARY REPORT

Année de Publication : 2017
Type : Rapport
Thème : Agriculture
Couverture : Maroc

Résumé/Sommaire :

Important challenges such as population growth, urbanization, economic expansion and climate change are looming over urban water security in Morocco.While urban water demand is expected to rise by 60% to 100% in most large cities by 2050, climate projections suggest reduced precipitation and a sharp decline in water resources availability. Morocco is expected to enter a situation of extreme water stress in less than 25 years.
The Water Law 36-15 recognizes these risks and provides the relevant policies, institutions, regulations, mechanisms and procedures for integrated water resources management and created the necessary tools for its implementation. The Law emphasizes the need for integrated, decentralized, participative management of water, and recognizes the importance of developing planning mechanisms to address water scarcity. Institutions have been set up at all levels of government and rules are in place to involve civil society and the private sector in water management.
Even though the Water Law 36-15 bestows priority on potable water supply over other usages, particularly irrigation, Urban Water Security cannot be addressed in isolation and need to be considered within the context of broader water resources management issues in the river basin in which the urban area is located. With growing water stress and major water shortages likely to hit the agriculture sector in the future, competition for water will become fierce between users. Integrated Urban Water Management needs to go hand in hand with Integrated River Basin and Water Management, and urban water managers must contribute their fair share of saving and reusing urban water for the benefit of other water dependent sectors.
Marrakesh and by extension other cities and municipalities in Morocco hold a diverse menu of options to tackle urban water security challenges. Many non-conventional solutions in tandem with demand management measures are shown to be promising and cost-effective, with fewer social and environmental impacts than large scale infrastructure projects relying on dams and inter-basin transfers.
Further improvements in the institutional and regulatory frameworks could be considered to accelerate the adoption of solutions such as wastewater reuse, rainwater harvesting and leakages reduction, which are identified in the Stratégie Nationale de l'Eau (2009) as critical to bridge the future water supplydemand gap. Strengthening groundwater governance will also be fundamental to better regulate competitive water uses between municipal and non-municipal actors, and to leverage acquifer's potential to act as buffers against climate variability.
For the city of Marrakesh, this study points towrads a portofolio of solutions that aims to build the city's resilience to climate shocks and diversify water sources to hedge against risks on any of them. This portfolio differs from the one envisaged in the one envisaged in the Plan National de l'Eau (2015), which relies primarily on the inter-basin transfer from the North. The technical, financial and institutional feasibility of promising scenarios need to be assessed in greater detail than possible under this study. But at this pivotal moment in the engagement of large scale infrastructure projects in Morocco, a full review of options integrating the micro (city), meso (basin) and macro (inter-basin) scales could help define an optimal pathway forward and yield substantial benefits.

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