HM the King Is Giving Tangible Form to the National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program

The sovereign proceeded to the inauguration of the Moulay Abderrahmane dam, built on the Ksoub wadi for an overall budget of 920 million Dirhams (MDH), of the hydro-agricultural development project of the Ksoub perimeter downstream of the new dam, which mobilizes investments of about 238 MDH, and drinking water projects relating to the construction of a water treatment plant for the Moulay Abderrahmane dam and the laying of water conveyance pipes (135 MDH), and a project to strengthen access to drinking water in rural areas amounting to 192 MDH.

These projects are in line with the objectives of the National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program 2020-2027, which aims at consolidating and diversifying sources of drinking water supply, supporting the demand for this invaluable resource, ensuring water security and combating the effects of climate change.

The projects bear witness to the sovereign’s will to pursue the dam policy initiated by his revered father, the late King Hassan II, may God surround him with his infinite mercy, and his determination to make the agricultural sector a catalyst for a balanced and sustainable economic growth in all regions of the kingdom and a determining factor in the promotion of rural areas through the development of agricultural production systems and the control of the management of rural areas.

These projects will help to strengthen the drinking water supply to the city of Essaouira and the surrounding regions, preserve the province’s water table, protect the areas and infrastructure located downstream of the Moulay Abderrahmane dam against flooding, increase the irrigated agricultural area and agricultural production capacity, and open up the local population. With a storage capacity of 65 million m3, the Moulay Abderrahmane dam is a 72 m high embankment dam with a concrete mask on a foundation and 418 m long at the crest.

This important hydraulic infrastructure, which will benefit a region whose economy is mainly based on agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts, brings to six the number of large dams existing at the level of the Tensift hydraulic basin, including the Yaâcoub Al Mansour, Lalla Takerkoust, Abou El Abbas Essebti, Sidi Mohamed Ben Soulaymane El Jazouli and Ouagjdit dams.

The Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Abdelkader Amara, presented the sovereign with two medallions commemorating the inauguration of the Moulay Abderrahmane dam.

In order to take full and sustainable advantage of the benefits of the new dam, a hydro-agricultural development project in the Ksoub perimeter has been implemented and benefits 1,207 farmers in the rural communes of Ida Ougerd, Sidi El Jazouli and Ounagha. This project, which covers an area of 1,300 ha, also aims at the development of irrigation water regulated by the Moulay Abderrahmane dam, the intensification of agricultural production by nearly 125 pc, particularly for the cereal, arboriculture (olive, pomegranate, fig tree), market gardening and fodder crops, as well as an improvement of the added value of agricultural production from 4,400 DH/ha/year to 25,000 DH/ha/year.

The hydro-agricultural development project of the Ksoub perimeter consists in the installation of a main water supply canal (12 km), the development of the secondary and tertiary irrigation network (48 km), the construction of collective and individual water intake points and water treatment plants, in addition to the support and technical assistance to farmers.

At the same time, the sovereign launched the operation to water the Ksoub irrigated perimeter from an irrigation intake on a 6 ha plot, before visiting a water filtration unit of the Moulay Abderahmane dam, a block terminal and a plot of land equipped with the drip irrigation system. In parallel with these projects, a program to strengthen and secure the drinking water supply for the urban and rural population of Essaouira province is being completed and should benefit more than 258 000 people by 2030.

This program has so far made it possible to supply water to four rural communes adjacent to the Moulay Abderrahmane dam, thanks to the construction of a 250 l/s water treatment plant and the laying of water conveyance pipes, all this for an overall budget of MAD 135 million. Projects are also underway, under the same program, for the supply of 12 communes from the Meskala water table (192 MDH), while projects for the supply of 8 communes are in the study phase.

With high added value, these various hydraulic, hydro-agricultural and drinking water projects will undoubtedly contribute to improving the incomes of thousands of farmers, promoting their living conditions, developing efficient and solidarity-based agriculture, and preserving the region’s water resources.

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