Agadir – Low levels of rainfall since 2015 have seen Morocco’s water reserves plummet, with two years of drought leaving the country with a dam filling rate of only 36.4% by December 15, 2020. Hydraulic basins throughout the country had recorded major deficits since September 2019.
Only over the last week have the dam filling rates have started catching up to last year’s levels. While the year started with a 37.0% fill rate, on January 10 it had reached 40.6%, and today, January 15, the dam water levels are at 44.5%, compared to 2019’s 49.1% fill rate on the same day. For the first time since the drought started, the heavy rainfall Moroccans experienced across the country has helped catch up to previous years.
Morocco’s Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water regularly reports on water resource management in the country’s dams and reservoirs, releasing daily statistics for the water levels at Morocco’s largest dams.
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Between February and March 15 of 2018, Morocco’s dam filling rate grew from 40.4% to 59.1%. Total water reserves peaked around April 30, 2018, at 69.0%, maintained a plateau throughout May, and started its steady descent over the next two years.
Following the daily reports shows us how from March 2018, Morocco’s total dam filling rate stood at a minimum of 60% most months, with small growths or shrinkages until June 2019, when it dipped below 60% and continued to steadily diminish. By mid-September dam filling rates fell below 50%, where it has remained since.
Looking at August 15 throughout the last few years will show us 59.7% (2018), 50.2% (2019), and 41.8% (2020) filling rates, a decrease of almost 20%. Similar trends emerged in other months, for example in October, water levels stood at 57.4% mid-month (2018), 44.8% (2019), and 36.0% (2020), a decrease of 21.4%; or December, when the water levels on the 15th were at 62.7% (2018), 46.6% (2019), and 36.4% (2020), a total decrease of 26.3% over the years.
With annual temperatures in Morocco steadily rising, the country is working towards actualizing its new water plan to offset years of drought, and the recovering fill rates are sure to help.