Morocco has made notable progress in solving the water crisis by constructing wastewater treatment plants and improving the sewerage network.
Rabat – Morocco has built a total of 153 wastewater treatment plants with a capacity of 3.38 million square meters since 2006, said delegate minister of interior, Noureddine Boutayeb.
The official made his remarks at the annual session of the Chamber of Councillors on Tuesday, February 9.
He said the construction of the treatment plans happened after the launch of the National Sanitation Program (NAP).
Boutayeb said that an amount of 45 million cubic meter of water has been mobilized, of which 23 million cubic meters are reused in the irrigation of golf courses, green areas and for industrial purposes.
To address its water challenges, Morocco has prioritized projects where the emphasis is placed on the reuse of treated wastewater in the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027, he explained. The aim is to implement 89 projects for the reuse of about 100 million cubic meters each year.
The National Sanitation Program aims to generalize the connection to the sewerage network in urban areas to reach a rate of 80% in order to reduce the pollution rate by at least 60% by 2020.
According to the official, the investments made under the NAP have improved the indicators in urban areas with a rate of 76% in 2018, and 82% last year, against 70% in 2006, a rate of achievement of 102% of the programmed objectives.
As for the wastewater treatment rate, it reached 56% in 2020 compared with 7% in 2006, representing 94% of the programmed objectives.
Although rural areas were not initially part of the NAP, he continued, several rural centers have benefited from the program thanks to the partnership between the government, local authorities, and other public and private stakeholders.
Boutayeb argued that the Ministry of the Interior has ensured the implementation of the National Sanitation Program in urban and rural areas and the reuse of treated wastewater with the aim of continuing the programming of urban centers by 2040.
The overall goal is to increase connection to the sewerage network to 90% and reduce the pollution rate by more than 80%.
The Ministry of the Interior, in coordination with the other partners, has also taken a series of emergency measures in this regard, he added, citing in particular the implementation of a program aiming to strengthen the supply of drinking water in urban areas.
Among the measures taken are the extension of the NAP to rural areas and the reuse of wastewater, the launch of projects to equip rural centers with sanitation networks, and the implementation of projects to strengthen the supply of drinking water in rural areas
The Moroccan government is also set to launch the construction of five new dams in 2021, with a view to increasing the national total water capacity to 27 billion cubic meters. Despite all efforts, water scarcity has in recent years been a major threat to the stability of Morocco. Data from a recent study show that climate change imposes big environmental challenges, and statistics indicate a chronic water deficit in Moroccan dams’ reserves.