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King Mohammed VI Instructs Government to Invest $14.3 Billion Additional Budget to Address Water Crisis

King Mohammed VI has issued instructions to increase the current budget allocated to the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027 to MAD 143 billion ($14.3 billion).

King Mohammed VI issued the instructions during a meeting on Tuesday in the Royal Palace in Rabat. The meeting was dedicated to overseeing the progress made in the implementation of the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation.

Here follows a statement by the Royal Office:

“His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, chaired, today at the Royal Palace in Rabat, a working session devoted to the follow-up of the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020-2027.

This meeting is part of the interest and high concern of His Majesty the King, may God assist Him, to the strategic issue of water, which has been the subject of important Royal Directions contained in the Opening Speech of the Parliament, last October, and three working sessions chaired by the Sovereign.

During this session, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Mr. Nizar Baraka, made a presentation to the Sovereign on the water situation and on the progress of the implementation of the various components of this Program.

Thus, in accordance with the High Royal Instructions aimed at accelerating this Program and updating its consistency, a significant additional investment has been granted, bringing its overall budget to 143 billion dirhams. In this context, the following measures have been taken:

– The acceleration of the project to interconnect the Sebou, Bouregreg and Oum Er-Rbia water basins, with the ongoing implementation of the urgent 67 km long interconnection section;

– The programming of new dams and the updating of the costs of about twenty dams planned, thus allowing to increase the storage capacity of 6.6 billion m3 of fresh water;

– Accelerating non-conventional water mobilization projects, through the programming of seawater desalination plants and the increase of treated wastewater reuse capacities;

– Strengthening the supply of drinking water to the rural world, by extending coverage to more douars and strengthening the logistical and human resources mobilized.

In addition, and in view of the climatic and hydric situation which has had a negative impact on the agricultural campaign and the availability of pastures this year, His Majesty the King, may God assist Him, has given His High Instructions to the government to activate, as in the previous year, the emergency measures of the Program to fight against the effects of drought.

Finally, the Sovereign urged the concerned departments and organizations to double their vigilance in this vital field and to show efficiency in the realization of the programmed projects according to the established schedule.

This working meeting took place in the presence of the Head of Government, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, the Advisor to HM the King, Mr. Fouad Ali El Himma, the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abdelouafi Laftit, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Ms. Nadia Fettah, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Mr. Nizar Baraka, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Ms. Leila Benali, and the Director of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water, Mr. Abderrahim El Hafidi.

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