Morocco: Water-intensive crops faced with water shortages

Morocco has been facing its worst drought in over three decades, but still, the country continues to overproduce and export water-demanding crops. Unfortunately, the coming dry season may lead to an increase in water stress in the country, and Morocco is not alone. Across the Maghreb region, there have already been reports of severe dry conditions in early 2023.

The increase in frequency and intensity of drought periods in Morocco is due largely to climate change and water shortages, according to a “Drought Assessment Report” published at the end of last year. Last summer, Moroccan authorities had to ration water as reserves hit lows of 28%, down from 46% in 2021. As of February 20 this year, Morocco’s dams’ filling rate is at a similar level to last year’s at about 33%.

Agriculture accounts for 88% of water consumption in Morocco, according to data from the World Bank. Comparatively, the sector accounts for 80% of water consumption in the United States and about 70% of freshwater use globally, according to the World Bank.


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