Morocco’s farmers are bracing themselves for a new crisis as water levels in the country reach new low points.
The level of dams’ reserves, until November 1, amounts to about 4.03 billion m3, i.e. a filling rate of 25%, against 35% recorded during the same period of last year, said Minister of Equipment and Water Nizar Baraka on 3rd November.
Presenting the draft sectoral budget of the Ministry of Equipment and Water for the year 2023 before the Committee of Infrastructure, Energy, Mining and Environment in the House of Representatives, Baraka added that the beginning of the current hydrological year was marked by moderate rainfall that fed the water reserves of some basins.
The Minister said that the volume of water entering the dams, at the beginning of the current year, has reached 424 million m3, which represents a deficit of 43% compared to the annual average and a surplus of 74% compared to the previous year, noting that 2021 was the 4th hottest year since 1981 and that the average temperature exceeded by about 0.9 degrees Celsius the usual average recorded during the period from 1981 to 2010.
Baraka explained that, despite the decline in water reserves in dams, drinking water needs have been met through the use of desalination of seawater, especially in Agadir, the strengthening of supplies from groundwater, the networking of river basins and the reduction of most supplies for irrigation.
Regarding groundwater resources, the Minister noted that they have posted a significant decline in their level due to low rainfall and snow, as well as their excessive use for drinking water supply and irrigation, noting that most of the water tables have experienced, during this year, a record drop in water level ranging from -3 meters to -6.85 meters.
Rain-dependent Morocco is facing it worst drought in at least four decades.