The hydrographic capacity of the Moroccan kingdom has doubled in the last year, captivating Spanish investors and businessmen

Morocco's ambitious plan that is attracting so much interest in Spain

La presa de Youssef Ben Tachfin en el uadi de Massa, en la provincia de Tiznit, inaugurada en 1972 -PHOTO/MAP
The Youssef Ben Tachfin dam in the Massa wadi, in the province of Tiznit, inaugurated in 1972 (PHOTO/MAP)

The projects carried out by the Moroccan government in recent years have ensured that the drought is not affecting Morocco to the same extent as other countries in Central and North Africa. Investments in renewable energies, desalination plants and the construction of water highways to divert water to the neediest regions are part of the perfect plan, which the Spanish government is following closely.

  1. Restrictions on water use
  2. Andalusia and Catalonia are drying up

Recently, the Copernicus Climate Change Service confirmed that the effects of climate change are already a reality with the resolution of the year 2023 as the hottest year on record. While droughts are affecting the Alawi country, albeit to a lesser extent, Spain is fearful of being the next to start feeling the consequences of global warming.

With the warning and predictions of an even hotter 2024, the rush to solve the problems before they get worse is prompting Spanish companies to develop and invest in the water sector.

Restrictions on water use

A situation they want to avoid through all kinds of solutions, which could include Morocco's commitment to curb desertification and control water scarcity: desalination.

Morocco's Minister of Infrastructure and Water, Nizar Baraka, said a few weeks ago that Morocco's desalination efforts are a structural problem for a country suffering from climate change and lack of rainfall. According to information from Baraka's ministry, the intention of the proposed measures and plans is that by 2030, 50 per cent of Morocco's drinking water will come from desalination plants.

Nizar Baraka, ministro de Equipamiento y Agua de Marruecos (PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ)
Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water of Morocco (PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ)

To achieve this goal, Rabat has launched a plan that includes the construction of 20 plants to reach 1.4 billion cubic metres of water in six years. The Moroccan government's intention is to ensure that coastal population centres are no longer dependent on water from reservoirs, freeing up resources to meet the needs of inland cities and agriculture. 

On the other hand, project financing involves cooperation between the public and private sectors in Morocco. It is an approach that will focus on sustainable energy, water and desalination, infrastructure and logistics, industry and innovation, and will benefit Spain after the government doubled credit lines for Spanish companies investing in the country.

PHOTO/SOMAGECGROUPE - Plano del proyecto de unión mediante cnales denominados "las autopistas del agua" de los ríos Sebou y Bourgreg
Plan of the project to link the Sebou and Bourgreg rivers by means of "water highways". (PHOTO/SOMAGECGROUPE)

Andalusia and Catalonia are drying up

A study published in the journal Nature predicts one of the consequences of climate change: extreme heat waves and droughts in the coming years (expected until the end of the century).

Meteorologist Juan Jesús González Alemán warned that, in the two most affected autonomous regions of Spain, Andalusia and Catalonia, the lack of rain has left the reservoirs so dry that the reserves have reached early warning levels, which forces them to be used if the situation worsens.

Río Genil, en Andalucía, uno de los principales ríos damnificados por la escasez de lluvias (PHOTO/PIXABAY)
Río Genil, in Andalusia, one of the main rivers affected by the lack of rain (PHOTO/PIXABAY)

The low level of the reservoirs together with the lack of rain has caused both autonomous communities to have had to approve measures for the control and rationing of water. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has reported that Andalusia's reserves will suffer large reductions to respond to the needs of human supply, irrigation and industrial use.

The year 2023 has closed with nearly 994 cubic hectometers less water, which represents a drop of more than 8% of the stored capacity in 2022. Among the measures that the Andalusian Government proposes to solve the problems is to take advantage of more of 140 cubic hectometers of water from desalination plants by 2026.

Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes en Cataluña (PHOTO/PIXABAY)
Aigüestortes National Park in Catalonia (PHOTO/PIXABAY)

In Catalonia the situation is very similar. The reservoirs have been in continuous decline since 2021. The Generalitat is investing and researching in the use of internal basins from which it is expected to obtain an additional 16.7% of water. For this, the region of Catalonia is digging deep water wells.

The Catalan Water Agency (ACA) has launched a new help line aimed at local actors to finance investments in recovery, restoration, adaptation and implementation of groundwater collection. This is in addition to the seven items currently released by the ACA for drought relief, totaling €100 million.