Morocco is characterized by a climate that is both Mediterranean in the north and arid in the south and southeast of the Atlas, with a hot and dry season and a cold and wet season.
The rainfall regime in Morocco is characterized by high spatial variability. The average annual precipitation is distributed as follows:
- Greater than 800 mm in the wettest region in the north;
- Between 400 to 600 mm in the Center region;
- Between 200 and 400 mm in the Oriental and Souss region;
- Between 50 and 200 mm in the South Atlas areas;
- And less than 50 mm in the Sakia El Hamra and Oued Eddahab basins.
Average annual rainfall is estimated at 140 billion m³ with great inter-annual variability. The figure below shows the normals for annual aggregates at the national level.
Rainfall in Morocco is characterized by great variability over time with the succession of rainy periods and periods of drought.
Morocco’s natural water resources are among the weakest in the world. Indeed, the potential of natural water resources is estimated at 22 billion m3 per year, or the equivalent of 700 m3 / inhabitant / year.
- Surface water:
Surface water resources throughout the country are estimated at an average year of 18 billion m³, varying depending on the year from 5 billion m³ to 50 billion m³.
Uneven distribution in time and space:
The hydrological regime of all the basins is characterized by a very large interannual variability marked by the alternation of wet and dry sequences, interspersed by years of high hydraulicity or severe drought. The Ouergha basin, for example, one of the most productive basins in the country, with an average contribution of 2.5 billion m³ per year, recorded extreme inflows varying from 0.1 billion m³ in 1994- 1995 to 4.2 Billion m³ in 1996-1997. Almost all of the 4.2 billion m³ were recorded during the months of November and December 1996.
The large regional disparity in precipitation also induces a large spatial variability in surface water flows. These vary from a few million m³ for the most arid basins, such as the Saharan basins, Souss-Massa-Tiznit-Ifni, Ziz, Rhéris, Guir, Bouâanane and Maïder to billions of m³ per year for the basins the most watered ones, such as the Loukkos, Tangérois, Coastal Mediterranean and Sebou basins. The northern basins (Loukkos, Tangérois and Coastal Mediterranean) and Sebou which cover almost 7% of the country’s surface area with more than half of the water resources.
- Underground water:
Groundwater represents around 20% of the country’s water resource potential. Of the 103 slicks listed, 21 are deep slicks and 82 shallow. The most important aquifer systems cover a total area of nearly 80,000 km², or about 10% of the territory. In the current state of knowledge, the groundwater potential is of the order of 4.2 billion m³ per year.
The water sector in Morocco has benefited from a particular interest of the public authorities and has been at the center of the concerns of economic policies because of its decisive role in the water security of the country and the support of its development, in particular the irrigated agriculture.
In this context, Morocco has long embarked on a dynamic policy to provide the country with an important hydraulic infrastructure, improve access to drinking water, meet the needs of industries and tourism and the development of irrigation in large scale.
Indeed, Morocco has succeeded in building an efficient model of water management, specific to the country and cited as an example at the international level.
Behind this undeniable success:
- The policy of controlling and mobilizing water resources through the construction of large reservoir dams and water transfer structures.
- The development of technical skills and applied scientific research.
- A long-term planning policy launched in the early 1980s which allows decision-makers to anticipate water scarcity by giving public authorities long-term visibility (20 to 30 years).
- And finally, significant advances in the regulatory and institutional field, in this case Law 10-95 which consolidated the integrated, participatory and decentralized management of water resources through the creation of water basin agencies and the introduction of water resources. Financial mechanisms for the protection and preservation of water resources.
This policy has made it possible to provide the country with an important hydraulic infrastructure made up of 139 large dams (graph below) with a total capacity of nearly 17.6 billion m3 and several thousand boreholes and wells collecting groundwater.
These infrastructures made it possible to ensure:
- The development of irrigation in large-scale.
Currently, the area equipped by the care of the State exceeds 1 million hectares. By irrigation method, the areas equipped with surface irrigation represent 70% of the area equipped with perennial irrigation, those equipped with sprinkling cover 9% of the equipped area, and those equipped with localized irrigation occupy 21% of the equipped area.
- The supply of drinking water to the populations.
Access to drinking water is generalized in urban areas with an individual connection rate to the network of 94%, the rest of the population, located in the outskirts of semi-urban areas, is served by standpipes. In rural areas, the rate of access to drinking water has grown spectacularly in recent years, dropping from 14% in 1994 to 94% in 2014.
- Flood protection
Significant efforts have been made to mitigate the effects of the Great Plains flooding. As such, the Department of Water (DE) carried out the Study of the National Flood Protection Plan (PNI) which made it possible to inventory approximately 400 sites exposed to flooding, which were the subject of ” consultation at the level of the Water Basin Agencies with the various departments concerned.
In parallel with the physical actions, measures to improve preventive measures have been carried out focusing on strengthening hydrometeorological activity, in particular improving the flood warning system and modernizing the measurement networks.
- Hydroelectric production
The hydroelectric plants built up to 2010 have a total installed capacity of around 1,730 MW, including nearly 460 MW at the Afourer turbine and pumping station.
- Evolution of installed power in MW
Nevertheless, the water sector remains faced with major challenges linked to the scarcity of water resources and the accentuation of extreme climatic phenomena (floods and droughts) under the effect of climate change, to the inadequacy of resources. with continuously growing water needs due to demographic growth and socio-economic development, particularly in the agricultural sector (Green Morocco Plan) and the various sites inaugurated by HM King Mohamed VI, to the overexploitation of water resources underground and the deterioration of the quality of water resources.
The National Water Plan
To consolidate the achievements and meet the aforementioned challenges, the Minister Delegate in charge of Water has drawn up the National Water Plan, constituting an extension of the orientations of the national water strategy presented to His Majesty on April 14, 2009 in Fes.
The main principles taken into consideration in the development of the PNE action plans mainly relate to:
- integrated and concerted management of water demand and resources,
- strengthening the country’s water security and adaptation to climate change,
- solidarity in its various dimensions,
- the promotion of good governance of the water sector and the search for the effectiveness of the action of the actors, the search for convergence and the alignment of sectoral programs,
- and the search for mechanisms and means of financing the water sector, combining public subsidies and direct cost recovery through tariffs for water services.
The PNE is based on three pillars namely:
- Management of water demand and water recovery:
In the field of drinking water, in addition to the objectives of generalizing access to drinking water, improving the efficiency of drinking water distribution networks.
In the agricultural sector, the extension of the reconversion program to localized irrigation based on the objectives of the Green Morocco Plan (2020) until 2030.
For better use of water resources, the acceleration of the hydro-agricultural development program downstream of existing dams or in the process of being built.
- Development of the offer: through continued mobilization of surface water through dams, local development of surface water through small dams, use of unconventional water resources, in particular desalination seawater and the reuse of purified wastewater and the possibility of transferring water from the surplus water basins in the Northwest to the deficit basins in the Center-West.
- Preservation of water resources, of the natural environment and adaptation to climate change by preserving the quality of water resources and the fight against pollution, protection and sustainable management of groundwater, development and protection of water resources. watersheds and the safeguard and preservation of sensitive areas, particularly wetlands and oases.
In the context of adaptation to climate change and for better control of extreme phenomena, the PNE proposes actions for the protection against floods and the fight against the effects of drought.
The PNE also proposes the continuation of regulatory and institutional reforms, the revision of the Water Law 10-95 and its harmonization with related laws.
Taking into account, on the one hand, these weaknesses and, on the other hand, the need to take into account the principle of the right to water and a healthy environment provided for by the 2011 constitution and the objectives and principles of the aforementioned framework law n ° 99.12, it has become necessary to revise the law on water so that it can support the changes underway at the legal, socio-economic and climatic levels.
To conduct this review, the government water authority carried out broad national and regional consultations. These consultations made it possible to take into account the comments and proposals of all stakeholders.
The main objectives of this revision are the consolidation of the achievements made by the implementation of Law No. 10-95 on water and the improvement of governance of the water sector, in particular, through the simplification procedures, strengthening of the regulatory framework relating to the recovery of rainwater and wastewater, the establishment of a regulatory framework for seawater desalination, strengthening of the institutional framework and tools for protection and preservation water resources and improving the conditions for preventing extreme phenomena linked to climate change.
In order to achieve these objectives, Law No. 36.15 on water has been drafted. It includes 163 articles spread over 12 chapters.
This law is based on fundamental principles among which the public domain of water, the right of all citizens to access water and a healthy environment, water management according to good governance practices. which include consultation and participation of the various parties concerned, integrated and decentralized management of water resources while strengthening spatial solidarity, protection of the natural environment, promotion of sustainable development and integration of the gender approach in matters development and management of water resources.
The Department of Water of the Ministry of Equipment:
- Research and evaluation of water resources.
- Assessment of surface and underground water resources;
- Water planning and management;
- Control and protection of the quality of water resources;
- The study of hydraulic structures;
- Construction, maintenance and operation of hydraulic structures;
- Studies and construction of small hydraulic structures, in particular for the fight against the effects of drought and protection against floods;
- Research and development in the fields of climate and water;
- Meteorological watch and information on climate change.
- Drinking water supply assured and secure for 100% of the population in urban areas and 95% of the population in rural areas;
- Development of irrigation: important infrastructure allowing the irrigation of more than 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land;
- Energy recovery of hydraulic structures: participation on average at 10% of national energy production;
- Protection against flooding of towns and plains;
- Modern legislative framework: Law 10-95 on water and more than 77 implementing texts. Revised by Law 36-15;
- An important network for climatological and hydrological measurement, warning of piezometric floods and water quality control, covering all the watersheds of the Kingdom, allows the monitoring and the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the climate and surface and groundwater resources.
To ensure and support the socio-economic development of the country, the Water Department has implemented its action programs within the framework of the National Water Plan in order to allow the satisfaction of the water demand of the populations and support for socio-economic development expressed by sectoral development strategies and plans and protect populations from the vagaries of floods and droughts.
The Department of Local Public Networks (DRPL) of the Ministry of the Interior:
The National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE):
The National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) is a benchmark player for sustainable development in Morocco. It is the pillar of the energy strategy and the armed wing of the state in the water and sanitation sector in the Kingdom. Since the mid-1990s, the Office has been on all fronts: generalization of access to electricity and drinking water, treatment of wastewater and development of the liquid sanitation service, modernization and expansion of networks for the production, marketing and distribution of electrical and hydraulic resources, the fight against waste and the implementation of new instruments and techniques for saving water and electricity.
ONEE, born from the merger in 2012 of the National Electricity Office (ONE) created in 1963 and the National Drinking Water Office (ONEP) created in 1972, is fully involved in major structuring projects for Morocco, providing it with infrastructure for the production, transport and distribution of electricity and water as well as for the purification of wastewater essential to the sustainable development of the country.
ONEE in the areas of Water and Sanitation:
In the water sector, as guarantor of the continuity of the country’s drinking water supply as well as a main stakeholder in liquid sanitation, ONEE has adopted a strategy focused particularly on securing the supply. of the country in drinking water at the best cost and quality of service conditions, diversification of production sources, control of demand, generalized access to drinking water services, active intervention in liquid sanitation and preservation of the environment.
Missions of ONEE:
The missions of the Office in the field of drinking water and sanitation consist of:
- The drinking water supply of the Kingdom;
- Programming of investments in drinking water and liquid sanitation.
Study and equipment:
- Drinking water and liquid sanitation projects
- Procurement and monitoring of project implementation
Management on behalf of municipalities:
- Drinking water distribution service
- Liquid sanitation service in cities where it distributes drinking water
- Water produced and distributed
- Water likely to be used for drinking water supply
ONEE Strategic Axes:
In order to support the socio-economic development experienced by the Kingdom and contribute to the preservation of the environment in general and water resources in particular, the Office has adopted a strategy based on the following 4 axes:
- Sustainability, security and strengthening of existing drinking water supply installations;
- Improved technical performance;
- Generalization of access to drinking water in rural areas in accordance with the principle of “the right to water for all”;
- Active intervention in the field of liquid sanitation and the preservation of the environment.
- Ensure a technological watch
- Integrate the environment component
- Involve the citizen in the economy and the protection of water resources
- A public company with high expertise,
- Competent staff
- National and international partnerships in expertise and R&D
The sector contains approximately 5,000 Companies employing approximately 125,000 people, operating in the following areas:
- Water industry:
The national companies have capitalized on a long experience which has enabled them to master the manufacture of hydraulic equipment and pipes of all sizes.
The Moroccan water industry covers the following sectors:
Manufacturing plants equipped to cover different ranges:
- Manufacturing plants for prestressed concrete pipes.
- Manufacturing plants for PVC, polyethylene and GRP pipes.
- Cable factories, transformers and electrical equipment.
- Plants, pumps and foundries.
- Manufacture of meters.
- Manufacture of small taps.
- Manufacture of connection accessories.
- All the boilermaking in the sector is carried out by Moroccan companies in the sector.
- Capable of laying pipes for drinking water supplies, sanitation of metropolitan areas and equipment of irrigated areas,
- Realization of turnkey treatment, purification and desalination stations (only the process part is subcontracted to European companies for large projects)
- Assemblers of pumping stations, treatment and purification stations.
- Construction of high flow pumping stations.
- Study offices
The engineering sector in Morocco has about 700 Design Offices employing more than and 6000 executives and specialists. Recent data shows that this area:
- Contains more than 50% of approved design offices;
- Carries out studies and monitors the implementation of projects of all sizes, in the fields of mobilization, drinking water supply, sanitation, irrigation and rehabilitation of facilities.
- Contributes to the development of a strategy for the development of water quality control.
- Has proven experience in West Africa, Central Africa and the Middle East.