Water: a major national emergency

The issue of water remains a priority. His Majesty King Mohammed VI chaired a working session at the Royal Palace in Rabat devoted to the follow-up of the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027. This meeting is part of the interest and the high solicitude that His Majesty the King grants to the strategic issue of water, which was notably the subject of important Royal Directions contained in the opening speech of the Parliament last October and three working sessions chaired by the Sovereign. During this session, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, made a presentation to the Sovereign on the water situation and on the progress of the implementation of the various components of this Program. Thus, in accordance with the High Royal instructions to accelerate this Program and update its consistency, a significant additional investment has been granted, bringing its overall budget to 143 billion dirhams. In this context, the acceleration of the project of interconnection of the Sebou, Bouregreg and Oum Er-Rbia water basins was highlighted, with the ongoing realization of the urgent part of this interconnection over 67 km; the programming of new dams and the updating of the costs of about twenty planned dams, thus allowing to increase the storage capacity of 6.6 billion m3 of fresh water; the acceleration of non-conventional water mobilization projects, through the programming of seawater desalination plants and the increase of treated wastewater reuse capacities; and the reinforcement of drinking water supply in rural areas, by extending the coverage to more douars and by reinforcing the logistical and human means mobilized.

In addition, and in view of the climatic and hydric situation which has again negatively impacted this year the progress of the agricultural campaign and the availability of pastures, His Majesty the King has given His high instructions to the government to activate, as in the previous year, the emergency measures of the Program to fight against the effects of drought. Finally, the Sovereign urged the concerned departments and organizations to double their vigilance in this vital field and to show efficiency in the realization of the programmed projects according to the established schedule. It should be noted that the working meeting took place in the presence of the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch, the adviser to HM the King, Fouad Ali El Himma, the Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, and the Director of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water, Abderrahim El Hafidi.

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