Moroccan case study site: Oued Laou Basin
Located in the North-western Mediterranean coastal area of Morocco, is a small river basin (930 Km²) of the Rif Mountains. The area has mainly a rural economy, oriented to the local consumption and suffering for unfavourable conditions, such as eroded soils and very irregular water supply. The particular historic and socio-economic conditions are opposing to the development of the area.
The area is highly interesting as a contact zone between the sea and the mountains (but the two zones have been kept separated historically and economically). The climate passes from semi-arid to humid over a few kilometres, thus presenting a variety of landscapes, is very fragile from socio-economic point of view, with increasing urbanisation of the coast and a dispersed, also demographically increasing, rural population, for which the access to water resources is a determining factor of development and social stabilisation. While water resources are potentially rich, the hydraulic infrastructures are completely insufficient to maintain an acceptable level of agricultural production.
For the retard in development of this area despite its potentialities, there is a need of action programmes co-ordinated and integrated for the management of resources, of which water is primary. Issues related to water are: pollution of river and underground water of the river and in the plane with sanitary risks and eutrophication of the marine coastal waters, with negative impacts on the coastal development; deforestation, misuse of soil and consequent inundation, which damage the fragile infrastructures, with negative impact on the quality of life in the mountain zone (isolation, limited access to sanitary and education infrastructure, increasing poverty, emigration) and on the quality of the environment; misuse of the water resources, which accentuates the scarce profitability of agriculture and consequently poverty. These phenomena are aggravated by the extension and intensification of Cannabis cultivation.
Key stakeholders identified are:
fishermen and the population of the coastal village, which has a tourism season in Summer;
organisations responsible for the distribution of drink water (Commune, Amendis, ONEP);
agency of the basin;
association of irrigators;
traditional representatives of the dchars and tribes;
local and governmental authorities.
Detailed presentation of the site (in French) by Partner 7.
Selected references on the site by Partner 7.
Report of the Meeting organised at the study site in November 2006.