Morocco covers an area of 710,850km2 in North West Africa and has a population of about 32M. Annual average precipitation in the country ranges from 30mm to 1100mm, and the total mean runoff is 30km3.
Almost 90% of the country’s total resources water consumption is used for irrigation, with the remainder being used by the population as drinking water and by the industrial sector.
Morocco now has 108 large dams in operation, comprising 52 embankments, 38 concrete dams and 18 masonry dams. The total water storage of all dams in the country is 15.8km3.
The Direction de la Recherche et de la Planification de l’Eau (DRPE) is in charge of water resources, represented by seven basin agencies and two regional water authorities known as Directions des Regions Hydrauliques (DRHs).
A law adopted in October 1995 provides effective legal instruments relating to the control and use of water resources.
It includes an evaluation of water resources and gives responsibility to agencies in each river basin to ensure rational planning, optimal exploitation and conservation. This comes under the DRPE.
Morocco’s main large dams currently under construction are shown in the table.
Igouzoulane dam and Ait M’zal RCC dam were completed in 2004. Other large dams planned to begin construction soon include: Wirgane (RCC, 75m high, for water supply of Marrakech city) and Rmel (RCC, 80m high, for water supply and flood control of harbor complex of Tanger Méditérranée).
Energy and power sectors
The sources of energy in Morocco are: thermal (82%) and hydro (18%). The Ministry of Energy and Mines is in charge of energy resources, and power plants are owned and operated by the Office National d’Electricité (ONE), the national power authority.
There are regional power authorities for electricity distribution, including ONE.
Hydro power development
The technically feasible potential and economically feasible potential are evaluated respectively at 4700 and 4000GWH/ year.
In the field of water resources, Morocco will focus its efforts during the next few years on the construction of dams. Works relating to water will focus on providing potable water for the population’s need, flood control, and, wherever possible, the production of energy.
• University Mohammed V Agdal has a Department of Civil Engineering that offers a degree in civil engineering with specialisation in three streams including hydraulics. It also has a focus on water resource management. http://www.emi.ac.ma/depts/gciv/
• Sogreah consultants (Société Grenobloise d’Etudes et d’Applications Hydrauliques) is a France-based multinational company working with the Office National de l’Electricité du Maroc (ONE) and is responsible for technical assistance comprising:
– Expert appraisal of projects
– Geological appraisal
– Inspection of working documents: civil engineering aspects, electromechanical aspects, and safety procedures
– Quality control of supplies
– Supervision of commissioning tests
– Training of O.N.E. engineers