Morocco is staring into an uncertain water future. With a median population age of only 27, Morocco is a youthful nation in transition, contending with the interwoven challenges of urbanization, rapid population growth, industrialization, and climate change. These trends have collectively increased pressure on the country’s most vulnerable natural resource, water, with demand and competition for freshwater mounting with each passing year.
The country has enjoyed some notable successes in recent years to extend water supply coverage. In 2000, just more than half of Moroccans had access to an improved water supply in the immediate vicinity of where they lived. By 2015, that figure had risen to more than 68 percent, but still, nearly one-third of Moroccans remain without reliable water access, and only one-fifth of the country’s collected wastewater is treated. The country’s current population of 35 million is on track to reach 40 million within the next 30 years. Continuous demand for irrigation water from a thirsty agricultural sector further adds to the country’s water stresses despite Morocco’s battles with recurring droughts.
So how is Morocco planning on addressing the considerable water-related challenges that lie ahead?