BAM and the low capacity of water desalination plants in the Kingdom

Morocco is largely confronted with the phenomenon of climate change with worrying economic and social consequences. These effects force it to adapt and constantly seek ways to reduce the impacts.

These are manifested by the rise in temperatures, which increased between 1970 and 2020 by an average of 0.21 degrees Celsius every ten years, not to mention a 4.2% decrease in precipitation during the same decade. To this end, Bank Al-Maghrib’s annual report for the year 2021 invokes this imminent danger, indicating that the country’s water deficit is increasing alarmingly and is exacerbated by demographic pressure and the growing needs of the sectors. economic, in particular agriculture, which accounts for around 88% of national water consumption.

Morocco is among the least abundant countries in terms of water resources per capita, with a water capacity limited to 645 cubic meters per capita per year (2015), a level well below the estimated “water poverty line” to 1000 cubic meters. It is expected to decrease by 2050 to 500 cubic meters, or the “extreme water scarcity threshold“. In its report submitted to King Mohammed VI, Bank Al-Maghrib recently indicated that Morocco has significant potential in terms of unconventional water resources, such as the desalination of seawater.

However, the production capacities of the latter remain low and limited, not to mention their high cost. To deal with this situation, the Central Bank has indicated that it is necessary to change the pattern of public policy making and adopt a comprehensive and rigorous approach to strengthen the integration of climate considerations into any decision taken in the the public or private sphere. The report also underlines the need to increase investments in adaptive water infrastructure, in order to reduce GDP losses by around 60% and to mitigate public debt shocks.

Climate change has become in recent years one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and despite the growing awareness of this problem and the adoption of more policies aimed at adaptation, it is clear that the progress recorded in this field is conspicuous by its slowness in execution. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is becoming less and less plausible compared to the pre-industrial stage, with consequences human and economic disastrous.

Africa, despite its limited contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the continents most vulnerable to the risks of climate change, with assessments published by the United Nations indicating an economic loss of around 3% of the GDP per year until 2050. What is worrying is that the funds needed to deal with the threat of climate change on the African continent are insufficient. It oscillates between 30 and 50 billion dollars of additional funds for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa to implement policies for adaptation to climate change.


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