Morocco Integrated Urban Water Management
Water & Sanitation
The three urban areas under the Project, Al Hoceima in the North, and Sidi Ifni and Tarfaya in the more arid South, face an increasing water supply and demand gap. Over time, as existing resources are over-exploited and conventional water resources alternatives are limited, increasingly expensive and unsustainable, these areas will fail to meet increasing domestic, touristic and industrial demand. Demand management and service delivery performance improvements are necessary, but not sufficient. Consequently, desalination appears to be a necessary alternative to meet the additional water supply demand, and ensure security as well as quality of supply.
In these areas, the Project aims at taking a holistic view of the overall water situation in the project areas, with the objective to serve as an entry point to the development of an integrated urban water management (IUWM) approach consisting of conjunctively exploring supply and demand side solutions. This would be the first attempt to introduce an integrated urban water management approach in Morocco and in the MENA region. The ambition is therefore to demonstrate the interest in such IUWM approaches through the project, by linking the necessary introduction of desalinated water, which is more expensive, with network performance improvement and demand management. This ambition also implies establishing close coordination mechanisms within the National Electricity and Potable Water Utility (“Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau potable” or ONEE) and between ONEE, river basin agencies and municipalities, which the project will support. A modest, phased and bottom-up approach was preferred to ensure concrete and demonstrative results, which could pave the way to potential scale up and mainstreaming in a later phase.