The African Development Bank has approved a grant to the Government of Morocco to assist in the design of dams, river development and inter-basin interconnection studies in the country.

The €201,000 grant, extended through the Bank's Technical Assistance Fund for Middle-Income Countries, will go to the Directorate of Hydraulic Development of the Ministry of Equipment and Water to help assess the technical feasibility of large and small dams, river protection, and interconnection projects before they are launched.

The funds will also help ensure the optimal design for the project by providing technical expertise, and confirm the technical characteristics of complex projects using experts in the field.

Morocco's semi-arid climate makes the country vulnerable to climatic hazards, characterized by alternating wet and dry seasons. The country is experiencing recurrent periods of acute drought with increasing water stress and reserves under severe pressure. The filling rate of dams was less than 27% in August 2022, compared to more than 42% at the same time the previous year.

The government established a National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation (2020-2027) to address the difficult water situation and signed its implementation agreement on 13 January 2020. This program is expected to spur investments in the water sector over the 2020-2027 period to boost potable water supply, especially in the hydraulic basins that were affected by drought in 2015-2018.

The National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027 blueprint consists of the following action plan:

  • The development of conventional water resources, including the construction and/or raising of large dams.
  • Construction of small dams to support local development.
  • Developing non-conventional water resources, in particular through the desalination of seawater.
  • Improving access to drinking water in rural areas.
  • Securing and boosting potable water supply to urban areas, improving the efficiency of installations, and increasing the autonomy of the drinking water supply.
  • Saving water, managing demand and enhancing the use of water.
  • Continuous restoration of small and medium hydraulic perimeters.
  • The preservation of water quality and the reuse of treated wastewater.