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Morocco builds dams to feed Essaouira and its region

The sixth large dam on the Ksoub wadi was inaugurated on January 16 by the king. In particular, it must guarantee the supply of drinking water to 260,000 people.

The King of Morocco Mohammed VI inaugurated on January 16, 2020 Moulay Abderrahmane dam on Oued Ksoub, in the Essaouira region. It is an essential link in the sector's hydro-agricultural development project.

This sixth large dam built on the Tensift hydraulic basin has a storage capacity of 65 million m³. The overall budget, including both the dam and the downstream irrigation scheme, amounts to 920 million dirhams (22.3 million euros).

This infrastructure is essential for the economic development and the daily life of the inhabitants, as water resources are limited. The rainfall does not exceed 300 mm per year. Oued Ksoub, which flows from the High Atlas, is the main river in the region. Its watershed extends over nearly 1,500 km, but its average flow is very low, around 1.5 m³ second.

This irrigation project involves more than 1,200 farmers and covers an area of ​​1,300 hectares. A 25% increase in yields is expected for cereal and tree crops as well as for market gardening.

In addition to this program, the Green Morocco Plan also contributes to the agricultural development of the region. Agriculture that supports eight out of ten inhabitants through more than 52 000 farms, and of which only 1% of the usable area is currently irrigated. The Maroc Vert plan thus intends to develop olive growing, carob and argan.

The project is also very ambitious as regards the supply of drinking water to the inhabitants. A large 12 km long supply canal and a 48 km secondary network will serve the region.

This program has so far supplied four rural municipalities adjoining the Moulay Abderrahmane dam, thanks to the construction of a dam water treatment station with a capacity of 250 l / s and the installation of water supply pipes, all for a total budget of 135 MDH.

In all, around twenty municipalities will be affected by the project. At the same time, improving the supply of drinking water will affect the entire population, urban and rural, from the Essaouira region, or nearly 260 000 people expected in 2030.

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