Closing of the washing stations, when will the control of the agricultural domains?

Morocco is going through an unprecedented water crisis, which has prompted the government to adopt an emergency plan to deal with it. In this sense, the public authorities have closed several car wash stations in different cities of the Kingdom, in application of the instructions contained in a circular from the Ministry of the Interior.

That said, this measure was not to the liking of professionals in the sector who deplored the absence of any financial support following this imposed closure, and the carelessness observed by the authorities in the agricultural fields, which consume a lot of water. water and deplete groundwater.

Due to the low filling rate of the dams at the level of the majority of the hydraulic basins in Morocco and the low productivity of the underground water resources, the Ministry of the Interior sent a note, a few weeks ago, to the walis of the regions and governors of prefectures, provinces and district prefectures in order to implement the actions necessary for the rational management of water resources and to guarantee the supply of drinking water to the population.

These actions consist in particular in the application of restrictions on the water flows distributed to users, the prohibition of the watering of green spaces and golf courses from conventional water (drinking water, surface water or underground water) , the prohibition of washing on public roads and places with drinking water, the prohibition of illicit water withdrawals from boreholes, wells, springs, watercourses and transport canals of the water, filling public and private swimming pools once a year, or banning the use of drinking water for washing vehicles and machinery.

This campaign led by the government to raise awareness among Moroccans on the importance of preserving water resources, was applauded by environmental actors who called on this occasion to launch a parallel operation targeting large farmers in Morocco, given the low administrative and legal control related to the extraction of water from wells.

While the commissions of the Ministry of the Interior are carrying out a vast campaign to close certain garages dedicated to washing cars using drinking water, the same ecological actors have wondered about the fate of their employees, pointing out that the decision to closure should apply to all industrialists and farmers who use drinking water.

The intervention of joint committees, headed by local authorities at borough and department level, is part of the implementation of the conclusions of previous meetings on the “water crisis», during which the governors gave clear instructions for the proper application of the circular of the Ministry of the Interior.

In this sense, Jamal Akshabab, environmental activist and head of the association of friends of the environment in Zagora, estimated that “ the awareness campaign is positive, but its impact remains limited, as drinking water consumption does not exceed 12% in homes while this percentage reaches 85% in the agricultural sector.

In a statement to MoroccoLatestNewsthe activist said “ that it would have been more appropriate to launch an awareness campaign aimed at large farmers who own large agricultural estates ”, noting by way of comparison that “ the tourism sector consumes less than 2% of water resources “.

Jamal Akshabab argued that car wash stations and garages cannot be held responsible for water scarcity.

It is true that professionals must be made aware of the importance of conserving water, and offenders sanctioned, but agricultural areas have not been subject to any sanctions despite their great contribution to the current crisis. “, he notes.

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