Economic DevelopmentResearchManaging Water Scarcity

Beyond the volumetric response, Morocco has also to think about water reallocation strategies in order to adapt to climate change.
Amal Ennabih Amal Ennabih15/06/2024279965 min
(FILES) This file photo taken on October 23, 2020 shows a view of the Abdelmoumen dam, some 60 kilometres from Morocco's coastal city of Agadir. - As Morocco withers under its worst drought in 40 years, experts are warning that a mix of climate change and bad management could trigger severe drinking water shortages. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Beyond the volumetric response, Morocco has also to think about water reallocation strategies in order to adapt to climate change.

Download article

 

Introduction

Morocco is currently experiencing its third year of drought. The filling rate of the Kingdom’s dams dwindled from 49.5% in 2021[1] to 32.4% in June 2022. Rainfall has registered a deficit of 64%: from September 2021 to January 2022 average rainfall were about 38,8 millimeters while in normal seasons average rainfall [2]is about 106,8 millimeters[3]. This drought is not a conjunctural phenomenon. Morocco registered in the span of 66 years (1961-2017) a rainfall decrease of 43% in spring (March to May) and 26% in winter (December to February) [4] . The trend is reversed for temperatures. In the same time span, results have shown a significant warming of the annual average temperature on the whole territory, where a maximum increase of 2,6 °C is registered in the province of Taza (center of Morocco). These biophysical variations will inalterably alter the water cycle due to two mechanisms: on one side, the deceleration of the water renewal process because of the diminishing rainfall and on the other side, the increasing evapotranspiration as a result of higher temperatures. Moreover, apart from the dwindling water volumes available, such changes also impact the water distribution in the territory and further raises the issue of territorial inequalities in terms of access to water. To illustrate such a contrast, in the Loukkos region (200 km North Rabat), the water availability per year per capita is about 600 to 700 cubic meters whereas in the south the ratio is less than 300 cubic meters[5].

In response of the 2021-2022’s drought, Moroccan government implemented water usage restrictions. For example, the Ministry of Equipment and Water has banned the irrigation of watermelon in the region of Tata[6] while the Ministry of Interior advises the regional governors (Wali) to implement strategies to save water by banning its use in the irrigation of green spaces and replacing it by unconventional water (like treated wastewater)[7]. Moreover, in February 2022, financial and economic measures were also deployed in order to protect the agricultural sector and its farmers such as agricultural insurance, protection of livestock, supply of the national market of wheat and fodder[8].

These examples of public actions consist of short-term water reallocation strategies to alleviate the consequences of water shortage. Implicitly, they show that although water scarcity is a natural consequence of biophysical and ecological changes, it is also a consequence of manmade socio-political decisions[9] on who has access to water, when, how much and for what use. Therefore, in a context of less naturally available water, these questions are central.

However, Morocco needs long-term strategies that consist of adaptation to climate change. In its February 2022’s report[10], the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[11] defines adaptation as a set of solutions which are “effective, feasible and conform to principles of justice”, “so that they are sufficient to avoid intolerable and severe climate risks”. For an adaptation strategy to be transformational, it should aim to “change the fundamental attributes of a social-ecological system in anticipation of climate change and its impacts”, by relying on multi-dimensional drivers involving social, economic, cultural, environmental, technical, and political processes on multi-level decision areas (local, regional and national) and actively on both the public and private sectors. That’s why shifting the paradigm towards water allocation issues allows to take into account all the multidimensional aspects of water management. For a better adaptation to the effects of climate change, it is important to view water scarcity as a social and political construct[12].

To achieve this, the Kingdom has put tremendous energy in designing public policies for climate change adaptation and sustainable development. Water management policies are framed by the Nation Water Plan for 2020-2050 project and is completed by various programs such as the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2030[13] for the environmental sector and the most recent Moroccan New Model of Development[14] report for the economic sector presented in 2021[15]. As a matter of fact, the designed policies focus more on the volumetric perspective, by developing strategies in order to increase the offer in water, than on the resource distribution. Morocco has also invested in new technologies and infrastructures in order to render water usage more efficient and supply unconventional water resources (treated wastewater reuse and desalination).

However, water allocation and reallocation remain an unaddressed element in the national water management policies. Approaching water scarcity through the water allocation perspective will allow the rethinking of what climate change adaptation pertains in terms of water management and social justice. It highlights the actual inequality in water access and their socio-economic consequences. Finally, it is a way to “move from the volumetric response to water scarcity”[16] and question scarcity as the consequence of the way the finite volume of water available is used.

  1. A political and institutional acceptance of Morocco’s vulnerability to climate change

Morocco is known on the international stage for being one of the countries of the Global South that puts priority on climate change and sustainable development. Morocco had committed to the environmental cause since the Rio Summit in 1992, where the King Mohammed VI, then crown prince, presented his vision to build a new model of society. Morocco also supported the United Nations Framework convention on climate change (UNFCC) in 1992, ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, the Paris agreement in 2015 and organized the COP 22 in 2016. Moreover, in 2018, Climate Change Performance Index ranked Morocco second for its efforts as it was considered Africa’s leader in fighting climate change[17]. In 2022, the Climate Change Performance Index downgraded Morocco’s ranking to the 8th position[18].

At the national level, Morocco had, in 2011, included sustainable development in the constitution as the article 35 asserts: “The State works for the realization of a human and sustainable development able to allow the consolidation of the social justice and the preservation of the national natural resources and the rights of the future generations”[19]. Following suit, the framework law 99-12[20] for the environment and sustainable development has been promulgated with the article 12 that states: “the sectors and activities related to energy, water, agriculture, maritime fishing, transport, tourism, urban planning, construction and building and waste management and industry in general are considered as sectors and activities with a high potentiality of sustainability and presenting a priority in terms of requirement of respect of sustainable development”. Although, the issue of water scarcity is not sufficiently highlighted, the value of such frameworks is that they set the stage for the implementation of public policies that are at the junction of sectoral / economic priorities and environmental concerns.

The question of Morocco’s vulnerability to climate change and its specific impact on water resources is explicitly tackled by the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. The Strategy sets a series of actions towards sensibilization, good governance, green and inclusive economy, environmental (i.e. natural resources) preservation and the fight against climate change by 2030.

In accordance with such objectives, the Ministry of Energy and Sustainable Development has built up communication campaigns targeting all citizens in order to “promote a culture of sustainable development”[21]. Awareness about climate change and its consequences, the promotion of day to day practices that would help alleviate wastage in water and energy and the necessity for a “clean production” were among the messages that were disseminated in a cross sectoral manner[22]. Indeed, the campaigns have been set up in collaboration with professional associations and industries, ministries such as the Ministry of National Education, NGO’s and go further by also providing trainings for capacity building. Such endeavors display Morocco’s commitment in mobilizing citizens in the face of current and future environmental challenges.

As far as water scarcity is concerned, among the seven presented challenges in this ambitious masterplan are the challenges number 3 and 4, which deal specially with Morocco’s vulnerability related to dwindling natural resources and the question of water management. While the consequences of climate change and the over exploitation leading to degradation and depletion of resources are acknowledged with the issue of unequal water distribution, the proposed solutions are mostly focused in terms of water supply and efficiency of use.

In a similar vein, the fourth National Communication to the UNFCCC[23] , published in December 2021 and developed by the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, reflects on the water resources depletion that Morocco is facing, the state of vulnerability and the policies designed to face the challenges. Through their exposé of the policies of the National Water Plan project, the Communication has shown that public authorities have actively anticipated Morocco’s exposure and vulnerability to climate change by adopting measures to adapt and ensure the availability of water.

  1. The volumetric response to climate change and water scarcity: the risk of an “hydraulic fix”[24]?

The focus of this paper will be centered on water for agriculture irrigation as it is the sector that consumes more that 80% of water available but only irrigates 19% of the utilized agricultural area (Surface agricole utile) [25]. As a consequence, the sector is extremely dependent on rainfall because the large proportion of the agricultural area is based on cereal growing and the agricultural sector is mostly constituted of family farmers.

A growing imbalance between water needs and availability is projected with scenarios of a water deficit that could reach 4 to 7 billion m3 per year by 2050[26]. In order to reduce this deficit, public authorities aim to act on two main levers: developing water supply and expanding measures to reduce wastage for a more efficient water use.

As far as increasing water supply is concerned, Morocco is investing in the production of both conventional and unconventional waters. Aside from the programming of 50 more large dams by 2050[27], the Kingdom also relies on seawater desalination and treated wastewater reuse (TWWR). The rationale is to save conventional water with the support of desalination for potability and agricultural irrigation uses and direct TWW for other non-vital uses such as watering green spaces and golf courses.

Regarding the desalination of seawater, the objective set by the National Water Plan is the production of a volume of a billion cubic meters per year[28]. In this context, a major seawater desalination project has been launched to strengthen the supply of drinking water to the city of Agadir and the irrigation of the Chtouka area[29]. The technology of desalination is the foundation of the volumetric oriented strategy that is implemented; hence the affirmation in the fourth National Communication that “80% of the drinking and irrigation water could be met through desalination processes if managed in an integrated manner with other water resources”[30].

However, contrary to what could be observed in other countries such as Jordan, Tunisia or Spain, Morocco has opted out of agricultural TWW reuse[31]. In fact, TWW reuse’s purpose is directed towards the reduction of the pressure on conventional water. To that end, municipalities and resorts have agreed to rely on TWW for their green spaces and golf courses. Important projects have been established since 2011 such as in Marrakesh where the TWW treatment plant waters more than 11 golf courses as well as resorts’ green spaces. In Tangier, the TWW reuse is said to save 28 million m3 of conventional water by 2023[32]. As a matter of fact, the TWW reuse will make it possible to mobilize an additional volume of 340 million m3 per year by 2050[33].

As for the measures to render water use more efficient, the main instrument mobilized are technologies such as drip irrigation[34]and the following techno-managerial practices. The Moroccan New Model of Development delves in a more operational manner on the “ways to safeguard water resources for a better use (…) and more rigorous management of its scarcity”[35]. To do so, the Moroccan New Model of Development advocates for the reconciliation[36] of productivity and sustainability (p93) through innovation and technology, invoking for : 1/ yield improvement through precision agriculture; 2/ an agricultural use of water which is mindful of its scarcity (…) by mobilizing the most advanced technologies for water saving and resilience; 3/ the support of family farming and rain-fed agriculture; 4/ the access to adapted agricultural inputs and 5/the promotion of financing tools for agriculture. Further in the report, they also recommend financial, bureaucratic and organizational changes (p142-143): 1/ the financial decoupling the “Electricity” and “Water” branches of ONEE; 2/ Impacting the costs of infrastructure on the price of water; 3/the creation of a National Water Management Agency in charge of dealing with the issue of water for each hydraulic basins and allocate water resources accordingly; 4/ Investment on unconventional water resources such as desalination and TWWR that we have delved upon in earlier paragraphs[37].

Morocco should indeed aim for excellence and efficiency by adopting technological innovations and improving its bureaucratic organization. However, this it is not sufficient and only a mean to an end; being the transition towards a sustainable development model adapted to current and future climate change constraints. Agri-business owners have the means to invest in technical advice and tools to maximize its yield and have the financial capacity to recoup their losses and bouncing back, which is not possible for family farmers who have limited access to basic services and resources and generally live in climate-sensitive regions. Morocco built its agricultural sector with the prioritization of intensive irrigation and the exportation of “high value” crops that necessitates important water consumption[38],where more than 80% of its water resources are mobilized to that end. The downside of the focus on the technical-managerial solutions is that it invisibilizes the issue of water allocation, water rights and consequently water conflicts that risk emerging more and more in the future[39]. As a matter of fact, there are no indications of water allocations changes occurring or being prepared.

Water saving cannot be achieved with technology and bureaucracy alone. Morocco’s experiment with drip irrigation and its water overconsumption side effect is well documented[40]. Moreover, the use of precision agriculture will introduce new layers of inequality among family farmers and agri-businesses, the later having the financial means to implement such tools by seeking consultancy and engineering services. The contradiction is particularly visible when the New Model of Development ‘s general report claims to “placing the issue of sustainability and value added at the heart of the agricultural strategy”[41]. The Green Morocco Plan showed how the focus and the bulk of the investment was made on the agri-business sector and their exportations[42]. To be fair, food security seems to be one of the goals as it is advised to expand irrigated areas to crops. But at the same time, again, it is also advised to maximize the water use for crops that will be exported[43]. However, given the context of constant decreasing of water volume available on the national level, public authorities cannot afford the luxury of playing both sides of the fence. The idea that Morocco can still export its water (though high value crops) and at the same time feed its population is a mirage. It is apparent that there are winners and losers in such an economic model and in the current water allocation system. It is time to have a water reallocation public debate.

  1. Shifting the debate from water scarcity to water reallocation: Recommendations

To succeed in building a development model adapted to climate change, a paradigm shift is necessary:

  1. While intensive agriculture was lauded and encouraged in the 80s and 90s by international institutions and relayed by Moroccan public authorities until now (e.g. the Green Morocco Plan), more research and investment in other alternatives such as agroecology would help the country undertake a transition towards a more sustainable agricultural water consumption;
  2. Water allocation strategies should be open to a public debate as it is directly linked to the availability of drinking water and food security;
  3. Water users should all be able to negotiate their water rights in each water basin. While the integrated water resources management is promoted nationally as a process to follow, water allocation and reallocation arrangements should be organized in a more participatory approach;
  4. A more ambitious development model built on less climate change sensitive sectors (shifting from agriculture and tourism to high value-added industry) while orienting the investment on the agricultural sector towards the national market. For the 2021-2022 agricultural campaign, cereals production is estimated at 32 million quintals, i.e. a 69% decrease compared to the previous year[44]. Morocco imports more than half of the cereals it needs[45], which increases its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change in other countries and to geopolitical instabilities. We have seen, these last months, how cereals and the risks to food security can be used as weapons by a State deemed to be the granary of the world. The Russian-Ukrainian war have profoundly disturbed the cereal markets, as Russia and Ukraine are the second and the third suppliers in grains of Morocco. Such dependence cannot continue.

 

Endnotes

[1] Daily situation of the Morocco’s main dams, June 6, 2022, Ministry of Agriculture

[2] As calculated by meteorologists from 1980-2010

[3] Météo: Voilà pourquoi il ne pleut pas au Maroc, Les Eco, 15 février 2022. https://leseco.ma/maroc/meteo-voila-pourquoi-il-ne-pleut-pas-au-maroc.html (Accessed 15 July, 2022)

[4] As quoted by the National Water Plan 2020-2050 project. The National Water Plan is the reference document on which the national water policy will be based for the next thirty years, from 2020 to 2050. It was presented to the Interministerial Water Commission the 25th of December 2019. The National Water plan is a project of roadmap that is built in a collaborative manner with various ministries and public establishments involved in the water sector. It encompasses all the Master Plans for the Integrated Development of Water Resources (PDAIRE) developed by the different water basin agencies. On the 25th July 2022, it was announced that the Water department will launch the finalization process of the National Water Plan 2020-2050 project by starting expertise missions from the 1st of August. For more information see also : Stress hydrique: Le Maroc finalise sa stratégie nationale à l’horizon 2050, Le Matin, 24 juillet 2022. https://lematin.ma/express/2022/stress-hydrique-maroc-finalise-strategie-nationale-lhorizon-2050/378868.html(accessed 26 July, 2022); Le Chef du gouvernement préside une réunion de la commission ministérielle sur l’eau, MAP, 25 décembre 2019. https://www.maroc.ma/fr/actualites/e-chef-du-gouvernement-preside-une-reunion-de-la-commission-ministerielle-sur-leau (Accessed 26 July, 2022)

[5] Interview avec Nizar Baraka: La gestion intégrée de l’eau n’est plus un luxe, L’opinion, 11 Juillet 2022. https://www.lopinion.ma/Interview-avec-Nizar-Baraka-La-gestion-integree-de-l-eau-n-est-plus-un-luxe_a29312.html (accessed 23 July, 2022)

[6] La culture de la pastèque interdite au Maroc à cause de la sécheresse, AgriMaroc.ma, 7 mars 2022. https://www.agrimaroc.ma/la-culture-de-la-pasteque-interdite-au-maroc-a-cause-de-la-secheresse/ (Accessed 6 June, 2022)

[7] Restrictions d’eau: Voici les sept recommandations du ministère de l’intérieur aux walis et gouverneurs face au stress hydrique, Challenge, 20 février 2022. https://www.challenge.ma/restriction-deau-voici-les-7-recommandations-du-ministere-de-linterieur-aux-walis-et-gouverneurs-face-au-stress-hydrique-23297 (Accessed 6 June, 2022)

[8] Maroc: Le roi Mohammed VI lance un plan d’urgence d’un milliard d’euros pour contrer les effets de la sécheresse, La Tribune, 18 février 2022. https://afrique.latribune.fr/economie/conjoncture/2022-02-18/maroc-le-roi-mohammed-vi-lance-un-plan-d-urgence-d-un-milliard-d-euros-pour-contrer-les-effets-de-la-secheresse-904412.html (Accessed 15 June, 2022)

[9] Lyla Mehta, Context and construction of water scarcity, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 38, No. 48 (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2003), pp. 5066-5072

[10] https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/downloads

[11] IPCC, 2022, Climate change 2022. Impacts, Adaptation, vulnerability. Summary for policymakers

[12] Lyla Mehta (ed), 2010. The limits to scarcity. Contesting the politics of allocation. New York: Routledge

[13] The National Strategy for Sustainable Development is a reference document aimed at consolidating all public policies in the field of sustainable development. It aspires to lay the foundations for a green and inclusive Moroccan economy by 2030. You can find the executive summary here: https://www.environnement.gov.ma/PDFs/publication/Synthese-SNDD_FR.pdf

[14] The Moroccan New Model of Development’s general report was published April 2021 by a consultative commission composed of Moroccan intellectuals, researchers, experts and politicians from all fields. Its objective is to draw an outline of Morocco’s economic development path. See the document here: https://www.csmd.ma/documents/CSMD_Report_EN.pdf and more about the Commission and the methodology of their work here : https://csmd.ma/fr

[15] We have chosen these two reports because our objective is to analyze water management strategies through the lens of Morocco’s economic choices and its environmental constraints.

[16] Lyla Mehta (ed), 2010. The limits to scarcity. Contesting the politics of allocation. Routledge

[17] Morocco ranked second in climate change performance index, UNEP Blogspot, 18 décembre 2022. https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/blogpost/morocco-ranked-second-climate-change-performance-index-2018 (Accessed 6 June, 2022)

[18] Climate change performance index. Morocco’s page. https://ccpi.org/country/mar/

[19] Constitution du Royaume du Maroc, 2011, article 35: « Le droit de propriété est garanti. La loi peut en limiter l’étendue et l’exercice si les exigences du développement économique et social du pays le nécessitent. II ne peut être procédé à l’expropriation que dans les cas et les formes prévus par la loi. L’État garantit la liberté d’entreprendre et la libre concurrence. II oeuvre à la réalisation d’un développement humain durable, à même de permettre la consolidation de la justice sociale et la préservation des ressources naturelles nationales et des droits des générations futures. L’État veille à garantir l’égalité des chances pour tous et une protection spécifique pour les catégories sociales défavorisées ».

[20]Dahir n° 1-14-09 du 4 joumada I 1435 (6 mars 2014) portant promulgation de la loi cadre n° 99-12 portant charte nationale de l’environnement et du développement durable.

[21] http://www.environnement.gov.ma/fr/151-tous-ecolos

[22] Stratégie et Plan de Communication- Département de Développement Durable, Ministère de la Transition Energétique et du Développement Durable: http://www.environnement.gov.ma/PDFs/STRAT+PLAN%20COM.pdf

[23] The National Communication is defined by UNFCCC as “a report that each Party to the Convention prepares periodically in accordance with the guidelines developed and adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) (…) The national communication is a vital medium for the exchange of information on how each Party is implementing the Convention and also for highlighting the issues, problems, gaps and constraints thereof (…).The national communication is the most effective tool and means for the implementation of the Convention. It also provides the COP with the information it requires to assess the overall aggregated effects of the implementation of the Convention. ». More about it : https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/publications/09_resource_guide1.pdf and here is the Fourth Moroccan National Communication published in December 2021 : https://unfccc.int/documents/419678

[24] In his studies of desalination policies in Spain, Erik Swyngedouw called “hydraulic fix” the recourse to more hydraulic infrastructure and managerial tools in order to further for a while long the current productivity centric water management model. See: Erik Swyngedouw (2013) Into the Sea: Desalination as Hydro-Social Fix in Spain, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103:2, 261-270; Erik Swyngedouw & Joe Williams (2016) From Spain’s hydro-deadlock to the desalination fix, Water International, 41:1, 54-73

[25] Agricultures en chiffres 2018. Edition 2019. Département de l’Agriculture. Ministère de l’Agriculture, de la Pêche Maritime, du Développement rural et des Eaux et Forêts. The link of the report : https://www.agriculture.gov.ma/fr/publications/agriculture-en-chiffres-2018-edition-2019

[26] National Water Plan 2020-2050 project. The ratio was calculated by deducting the estimated demand of water in 2050 from the mobilized resources in 2020 with and without taking into consideration the increasing effects of climate change

[27] National Water Plan 2020-2050 project. See: Maroc: Le gouvernement ambitionne de construire 50 barrages d’ici à 2050, Afrik 21 (Jean-Marie Takouleu), 6 Août 2020. https://www.afrik21.africa/maroc-le-gouvernement-ambitionne-de-construire-50-barrages-dici-a-2050/ (Accessed 27 july, 2022)

[28] National Water Plan 2020-2050 project. See: Les mégaprojets de dessalement d’eau de mer du Maroc vus des EAU, HESPRESS (Mohamed Jaouad El Kanabi), 1 décembre 2021. https://fr.hespress.com/236116-les-megaprojets-de-dessalement-deau-de-mer-du-maroc-vus-des-eau.html (Accessed 26 July, 2022)

[29] Grand Agadir: mise en service de la station de dessalement d’eau de mer de Chtouka-Ait Baha, Telquel (Ziad Drissi), 31 janvier 2022. https://telquel.ma/2022/01/31/grand-agadir-mise-en-service-de-la-station-de-dessalement-deau-de-mer-de-chtouka-ait-baha_1752357 (Accessed 21 June, 2022)

[30] Fourth National Communication of Morocco for the UNFCCC, December 2021

[31] Treated wastewater reuse (TWWR) for agriculture in Morocco started experimentally in the 1990s with agricultural irrigation trials in Ouarzazate (1990-1996), Ben Sergaou (1989-1994), Attaouia (1998), Drarga (1999) and Benslimane (1997). Since then, with the launch of the National Sanitation Plan in 2005, three agricultural reuse projects called “pilot projects” have started: Tiznit (2006), Settat (2010) and Oujda (2011).

[32] Réutilisation des eaux usées traitées à Tanger: 28 million m3 d’eau économisés par an à partir de 2023, Aujourd’hui le Maroc (Najat Faissal), 3 juin 2022. https://aujourdhui.ma/societe/reutilisation-des-eaux-usees-traitees-a-tanger-28-millions-m3-deau-economises-par-an-a-partir-de-2023 (Accessed 20 June, 2022)

[33] National Water Plan 2020-2050 project. See: Réutilisation des eaux usées: Un investissement de 2,34 milliards à l’horizon 2022, La Vie Eco (Malika Alami), 6 février 2022. https://www.lavieeco.com/economie/reutilisation-des-eaux-usees-un-investissement-de-234-milliards-a-lhorizon-2027/ (Accessed 26 July 2022). It is also interesting to note that in the 2009’s National Water Strategy the objective was the reuse of 300 million m3 per year by 2030. Here is the document: https://www.pseau.org/outils/ouvrages/ministere_de_l_equipement_strategie_nationale_de_l_eau_maroc_2009.pdf

[34] Within the Green Morocco Plan, the National Irrigation Water Saving Program aimed to develop localized irrigation on an area of 550,000 ha by 2020, in order to improve the efficiency of irrigation water use in agriculture. By the end of 2019, nearly 585,000 hectares were equipped with drip irrigation systems. (Fourth National Communication for the UNFCCC, 2021)

[35] One orientation of the strategic choices defined by the New Development Model’s General Report, April 2021, p88

[36] (the word used in the report is reconciling)

[37]Please refer to the New Model of Development’s General Report to get all the details: https://www.csmd.ma/documents/CSMD_Report_EN.pdf

[38] According to the General presentation of the Green Morocco Plan (2009), the objective of the strategy was to develop a modern, high-added value, high productivity centric agricultural sector. Please see: Akesbi, N. (2011). La nouvelle stratégie agricole du Maroc annonce-t-elle l’insécurité alimentaire du pays ?. Confluences Méditerranée, 78, 93-105.

[39] The documentary Amussu from Nabil Bouhmouch (2019) portrays very well such kind of water conflicts around water rights, water uses and the power plays happening in the commune of IMIDER in the Tinghir province. See also: A Moroccan Village’s fight for water rights, Al Jazeera (Nabil Bouhmouch and Kristian Davis Bailey), 13 Décembre 2015. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2015/12/13/a-moroccan-villages-long-fight-for-water-rights (Accessed 21 June, 2022)

[40] For a detailed analysis on the effects of drip irrigation please refer to the following studies: François Molle, Oumaima Tanouti. 2017. La micro-irrigation et les ressources en eau au Maroc: un coûteux malentendu. Alternatives rurales. Maroc; François Molle. 2017. Conflicting policies: agricultural intensification vs. water conservation in Morocco. G-EAU Working Paper/Rapport de RechercheNo.1. Montpellier, France; Maya Benouniche et al. 2014. Mener le goutte à goutte à l’économie d’eau : ambition réaliste ou poursuite d’une chimère ? Alternatives rurales. Maroc.; Saskia van der Kooij, Marcel Kuper et al. 2017. Re-allocating yet-to be saved water in irrigation modernisation projects: the case of the Bittit irrigation system, Morocco. In Drip irrigation for agriculture. Untold stories of efficiency, innovation and development. Eds. Jean Vénot et al. Chapter 4. Routledge. New York, London.

[41] New Model of Development ‘s General report, page 140

[42] The Green Morocco Plan strategy was divided in two pillars: Pillar 1, which focused on the capitalistic side of the agricultural sector and Pillar 2, targeting small farmers located in semi-arid and disadvantaged regions. However, the budget allocated to each pillar highlights the importance given to agricultural exportations: 75 billion dirhams ($7,5 billion) are to be invested for over 10 years on projects related to Pillar 1 and 20 billion dirhams ($2 billion) were invested in Pillar 2. For more analysis about the Green Morocco Plan, please see: Akesbi, Najib. 2012. Une nouvelle stratégie pour l’agriculture marocaine: Le «Plan Maroc Vert». New Medit n°2/2012; Nicolas Faysse (2015) The rationale of the Green Morocco Plan: missing links between goals and implementation, The Journal of North African Studies, 20:4, 622-634

[43] New Model of Developement’s General Report, 2021, page 140

[44] La récolte céréalière marocaine en 2021-2022: 32 millions de quintaux, AgriMAroc, 13 mai 2022. https://www.agrimaroc.net/2022/05/15/la-recolte-cerealiere-marocaine-en-2021-2022-32-millions-de-quintaux/ (Accessed, 21 June, 2022)

[45] Grand angle: Les conséquences de la guerre en Ukraine sur la filière céréalière marocaine (Infographies), H24info (Rachid Abbar), 13 mars 2022, https://www.h24info.ma/economie/conflit-en-ukraine-les-consequences-sur-la-filiere-cerealiere-marocaine/ (Accessed 21 June, 2022)

Amal Ennabih

Amal Ennabih

Amal Ennabih is a PhD candidate in political science at Sciences Po Lyon. Her research focuses on hydro-agricultural policies in Morocco and Tunisia. For her thesis, she studies the design and implementation of treated wastewater reuse policies for irrigation and their political and social implications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *