Morocco is in the midst of building new hydraulic dams. The country is to develop 45 new dams, both small and large, which will expand and improve its water system. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment, said they are being developed all over the country and are part of the new government's policy of creating sustainable and renewable energy projects.
"The policy aims at sustainable and integrated development of water resources, taking into account current and future challenges and needs, as well as the possible impact of climate change on our country," the minister told a press conference.
He also explained that his team, the ministry and he himself are working hard to revise and enrich the final version of the national water plan, based on the recommendations of the new development model imposed on the country that is shaped in a participatory framework of all departments and sectors that are being involved in the improvement of new forms of greener and more sustainable energy.
During the press conference, Baraka recalled that this is not the only plan that is being carried out in the Kingdom's water system. One of them is the completion of the renovation of the pipeline that supplies the city of Safi with quality drinking water. This covers a distance of 4.5 kilometres, supported by a dam, which is supported by the rivers in the area and which also supply water to other cities such as Azilal, Kenitra, Oualidia, Sidi Bennour and El Jadida. In addition, this structure also protects the cities from flooding.
Another issue cited by the minister was the continuation of groundwater exploration projects in more remote areas, which could alleviate the situation in these areas and address the deficits of scarce resources.
Morocco currently has 149 large reservoirs, representing a total of 19.3 billion cubic metres. At the same time, there are 136 small dams that supply water to the more rural areas. There are 15 larger dams under construction with a total reservoir capacity of more than 4.3 billion cubic metres and the remaining 30 are smaller in size.
Earlier this year, the Kingdom began the project to build five large dams with a total storage capacity of 525 million cubic metres with the aim of improving the supply of drinking and irrigation water. These will be built in the provinces of Azilal, Agadir, Figuig and Beni-Mellal. The project is part of the national drinking water supply and irrigation programme 2020-2027.
The Alawi kingdom is one of the countries suffering the most from the water problem, and forecasts indicate that if left unaddressed, these problems will become even worse in the future. In its latest report, the World Resources Institute (WRI) ranked Morocco 22nd in the world and 12th among Arab countries in terms of the scarcity of this natural resource.
To this end, the country has been implementing plans to guarantee an efficient supply and improve distribution management, in addition to extending its networks to the most rural areas that have the greatest difficulties in receiving water.
The Al Wahda dam is the largest of Morocco's dams. Its construction began in 1991 and it was inaugurated by the late King Hassan II in 1997. It is located in the province of Taunat, and is filled by the Uarga River. It also has a hydroelectric power station at the foot of the dam. Its main functions are flood control, water management for crop irrigation, the supply of drinking water to the surrounding area and the production of clean and sustainable hydroelectric power.