Morocco’s King Mohammed VI presided over a water-related working session at his palace in Rabat on Tuesday.
The discussion was part of the King’s ongoing monitoring and concern for this strategic issue, particularly in light of the current environment, which includes a large precipitation shortfall and strong strain on water resources across the Kingdom.
Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water, began this working session by providing an overview of the water situation, which highlights a 70% rainfall deficit compared to the average for the period from September to mid-January 2024, as well as a dam filling rate of 23.2% compared to 31.5% the same period last year.
The King has previously issued various royal decrees, most notably within the scope of the National 2020-2027 Program for Drinking and Irrigation Water Supply.
In recent years, several provinces and regions have had adequate drinking water supplies.
This is particularly true for the integration of the Sebou and Bouregreg basins, as well as the commissioning of desalination plants in Agadir and Safi/Jorf Lasfar.
The Minister then submitted to the King the emergency action plan established by the appropriate agencies to address the current crisis and ensure the provision of drinking water, particularly in towns, centers, and villages that are or will be deficient.
The emergency action plan presented to the Sovereign and implemented at the level of the Kingdom’s various hydraulic systems calls for a variety of measures, including, in the short term, optimal resource mobilization at the level of dams, wells, and existing desalination plants, the implementation of urgent water supply and distribution facilities, and, if 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 of 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.
The King 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.
The working session was attended by the 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.”