President Statement by the Royal Office: Moroccan government reacts to water scarcity

Rabat – Here follows a statement by the Royal Office:

“His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, chaired today at the Royal Palace in Rabat a working session dedicated to the issue of Water.

This meeting is part of the continuous monitoring and high concern that His Majesty the King, may God assist Him, attaches to this strategic issue, particularly in the current context marked by a significant deficit in terms of precipitation and a very high pressure on water resources throughout the regions of the Kingdom.

At the beginning of this working session, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Mr. Nizar Baraka, presented an overview of the water situation, which highlights, for the period from September to mid-January 2024, a rainfall deficit of 70% compared to the average, as well as a dam filling rate of 23.2% compared to 31.5% at the same period last year.

Thanks to the actions already taken following the High Royal Directives, particularly within the framework of the National 2020-2027 Program for Drinking and Irrigation Water Supply, several provinces and regions have been adequately supplied with drinking water in recent years. This is the case, in particular, with the interconnection of the Sebou and Bouregreg basins and the commissioning of the desalination plants in Agadir and Safi/Jorf Lasfar.

The Minister then presented before His Majesty the King the emergency action plan developed by the relevant departments to address the current situation and ensure the supply of drinking water, particularly in cities, centers, and localities that are deficient or likely to be deficient.

This emergency action plan presented before the Sovereign, and implemented at the level of the Kingdom’s various hydraulic systems, provides for a variety of measures including, in the short term, the optimal mobilization of resources at the level of dams, wells, and existing desalination plants, the implementation of urgent water supply and distribution facilities, and, where necessary, possible measures to restrict irrigation water or distribution flows.

At the same time, and in accordance with the High Royal Directives, efforts will be made to accelerate ongoing projects with medium-term impact, particularly ongoing dams, the interconnection between the Sebou, Bouregreg, and Oum Rabia basins, the national program for seawater desalination plants, the program for reuse of treated wastewater, and the program for water conservation in drinking water and irrigation networks.

His Majesty the King, may God assist Him, urged the relevant departments and organizations to redouble their vigilance and efforts to meet the challenge of water security and ensure the supply of drinking water throughout all localities of the Kingdom.

In this regard, the Sovereign invited the government to establish transparent and regular communication with citizens regarding developments in the water situation and the plan of emergency measures that will be implemented, while strengthening public awareness of water conservation and the fight against all forms of waste or irresponsible use of this vital resource.

This working session was attended by Advisor to HM the King, Mr. Fouad Ali El Himma, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Abdelouafi Laftit, the Minister of Water and Equipment, Mr. Nizar Baraka, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy and Finance, in charge of the Budget, Mr. Fouzi Lekjaa, and the General Director of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water, Mr. Abderrahim El Hafidi.”

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