Few days after announcing a €10.8 billion (115.4 billion MAD) national plan to meet Morocco’s increasing water needs over the next seven year, King Mohammed VI inaugurated a dam near Essaouira worth about €87 million (920 million dirhams).
Built on Oued Ksoub, Moulay Abderrahmane dam, with a 65 million m3 capacity, will secure drinking water supply to Essaouira and neighboring villages, preserve groundwater, protect plains from floods and provide water for irrigation, in a region whose economy is mainly based on agriculture, livestock breeding and handicrafts.
This new hydraulic infrastructure brings to six the number of large dams in the Tensift watershed.
A plant for the treatment of the dam’s surface water was also set up to increase drinking water supply capacity. The plant has a production capacity of 250 liters/second.
The King also oversaw the launch of works to develop 1300 hectares adjacent to the dam in the Ida Ouguerd, Sidi El Jazouli and Ounagha areas benefiting some 1,207 local farmers.
Morocco’s water strategy, spearheaded by King Mohammed VI, aims at diversifying drinking and irrigation water supply notably through dam-building with a view of bringing up Morocco’s water storage capacity to 27.3 billion m3.
The water plan also provides for better management of water consumption and increasing supply to rural areas as well as building desalination plants adding to the already operational plants in Laayoune, Boujdour, Tan Tan and Akhfenir.
Morocco is expected to tender this year for the construction of a dam with a capacity of 1.35 billion m3 to meet needs of Tangier and Oujda.
Since his accession to the Throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI has consolidated the legacy of late King Hassan II to equip Morocco with water infrastructure through dams of different sizes.