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The Nexus Water- Energy-Food-Environment in Morocco

The Nexus Water- Energy-Food-Environment in Morocco

The Nexus Water- Energy-Food-Environment in Morocco

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Water, energy and food are the three essential commodities for the functioning of any economy. During the last decades, their resources have been steadily becoming scarcer or degrading to varying degrees from one region to another of our globe. Their scarcity, exacerbated by the climate change effects, is threatening the humanity progress unless appropriate strategies are drastically implemented and adopted in order to reduce our word’s vulnerability to the depletion of natural resources.

Many researches and various techniques and technologies have been developed, recommended and implemented to improve their use and use efficiency. However, these single options have shown their limitations and the potential threat of improvement in one dimension negatively impacting another. Indeed, these resources are not independent of each other, but linked by very close relations which require us to treat them in an undissociated way and to decompartmentalize their respective governances and policies within an ecosystem preservation framework.

This is the NEXUS Water-Food-Energy-Ecology (WEFe) concept, the aim of which is to establish synergies and compromises between sectors and resources for integrated management and for the achievement of inclusive and sustainable growth. A WEFe Nexus, well designed and implemented would be able to improve the security of the four components.

Morocco is a water scarce and drought prone country but Morocco is also a country whose economy relies on the agricultural sector and a country whose agricultural production relies at more than 75% on blue water. Water resources management, agriculture development and food security but also the energy sector are closely linked, as underlined by high level decision makers from water, energy and agriculture sectors that recommend a strongest coordination between sectorial strategies to enhance and ensure their convergence, to create synergies and increase their effectiveness. Thus, in order to consolidate achievements and address challenges related mainly to water scarcity and drought, a new impulse to the strengthening of water policy was initiated under the National Water Strategy and the new National Water Plan to meet the water needs of different sectors. On another hand, given that water scarcity is one of the most pressing challenges to ensure sustainable agricultural development and food security in the country, agricultural development strategies give a prominent place to an efficient use and management of water resources as a strategic lever for improving the agricultural productivity in a changing climate context. Energy is also a main component of the system. Thus, the nexus water-energy-food has been approached through several initiatives:

  • The management of national public policies regarding Energy and Water are ensured on the institutional level by a single ministerial department that encloses also the environment
  • The two public enterprises entrusted with the implementation of state policies in the areas of water and electricity were fused in a single entity
  • The choice of electric generation technologies whether of fossil or renewable sources now takes into account the volume of water used and favors the recycling of water,
  • The initiation by the Moroccan Institute for research on renewable and new energies of research programs on coupling solar energy and desalination, on photovoltaic energy in the desert…
  • The development of waste water treatement and desalination plants
  • The promotion of drip irrigation and solar pumping.
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