Morocco allocates US$561.5M to accelerate drinking water and sanitation projects

MOROCCO – The Moroccan government has approved a budget of 5.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (US$561.52 million) presented by the Office national de l’électricité et de l’eau potable (ONEE) for drinking water and sanitation projects.

Part of the budget will be used to continue the drinking water supply projects underway in Morocco.

This will increase ONEE’s production capacity to 7.35 million cubic meters per day, securing service for the population.

ONEE plans to build new facilities in 2022 for an expected production capacity of nearly 1.343 m3 and to equip an additional flow of 561,600 m3 of drinking water per day.

The additional funds come after reports of severe drought drying up main water sources (rivers and wells) in the North African country.

The government plans to increase access to clean and safe water for populations both in rural and urban areas.

Currently, the North African country has opted for the desalination of seawater in an attempt to curb the growing demand for water.

Morocco’s water situation mirrors other North African countries like Egypt which has also opted for seawater for solutions.

Egyptian government eyes 19 seawater desalination plants to be built by 2022 to meet the demand of its growing population.

The other part of the budget will be used to improve the management of wastewater (domestic, mining, agricultural, oil) in Morocco’s cities.

In this way, 14 wastewater treatment plants will be built in the Kingdom of Morocco by 2022.

The future plants will be capable of treating 41,382 m3 of wastewater per day when they are commissioned.

The treated wastewater will be returned to nature, reducing the risks to ecosystems. These facilities will support existing ones.

By the end of 2020, ONEE already had 119 wastewater treatment plants with a total capacity of 450,405 m3 per day.

In Morocco, the government is also advocating the use of effluent for water-consuming activities such as agriculture or for the replenishment of groundwater in the face of water stress.

It also encourages the use of treated wastewater for purposes of watering green spaces and other industrial uses.

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