Civil society organizations in Morocco are sounding the alarm over the gradual depletion of the country’s water reserves, warning that Moroccans could face an unprecedented water crisis.
Calls are growing louder for the reinstatement of a “water police” to curb violations.
The current period of drought has led reservoir levels to dangerously low levels, with only 23% capacity remaining, compared to 31% at the same time last year.
Concerns are mounting among authoritie, including the UN, following recent figures released by the Ministry of Equipment and Water, indicating water reserves at just over 3.7 billion cubic meters, significantly lower than the 5.14 billion cubic meters recorded during the same period in 2023.
Several major dams in Morocco are nearing drought levels, prompting multiple entities to raise alarm bells. The largest dam in the kingdom witnessed a 57% decrease in 2023, prompting the “Morocco Environment 2050” movement to demand a state of emergency declaration regarding water levels. They advocate for immediate and stringent measures to address the crisis.
Emergency Measures Implemented
Emergency measures necessitate the implementation of strict regulations by authorities. Some Moroccan cities have already imposed mandatory measures to curb water waste.
In several cities, governors have issued decrees restricting the consumption of drinking water, banning bathing activities on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays each week, along prohibiting car wash businesses on these days. Additionally, the use of drinking water for these purposes is strictly prohibited.
On its official platform, the “Morocco Environment 2050” association outlined the emergency measures required, emphasizing the urgent need for a sustainable agricultural transition to address the current precarious situation and water and food priorities, aiming to save the Moroccan population from thirst.
They also called for strengthening and activating the water police to monitor water theft and unauthorized well drilling, highlighting that 91% of agricultural wells are illegal.
UN Warnings on Global Water Depletion
The United Nations (UN) has warned of the gradual depletion of Earth’s water resources “drop by drop” during the United Nations conference on water.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated: “Excessive consumption, excessive development, unsustainable exploitation of water resources, pollution, and uncontrollable global warming are all factors that deplete, drop by drop, this source of life for humanity.”
Causes of International Water Warning
A report by the UN’s Water Resources Committee and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) warned of the “imminent danger of a global water crisis” due to several factors:
- Some areas suffering from water scarcity.
- Other areas face heavy rainfall due to increased precipitation density.
- Areas suffering from water pollution.