Water infrastructures and impacts in the sebou basin
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WATER INFRASTRUCTURES AND IMPACTS IN THE SEBOU BASIN. Paola Minoia, Anna Brusarosco Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia Centro Interdipartimentale IDEAS. AIMS.

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WATER INFRASTRUCTURES AND IMPACTS IN THE SEBOU BASIN

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Water infrastructures and impacts in the sebou basin

WATER INFRASTRUCTURES AND IMPACTS IN THE SEBOU BASIN

Paola Minoia, Anna Brusarosco

Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia

Centro Interdipartimentale IDEAS


Water infrastructures and impacts in the sebou basin

AIMS

  • To assess social, territorial and environmental impacts of past water policies in Marocco, based on water supply growth, partic. for irrigation.

  • To evaluate some new perspectives for IWRM and water demand management in Morocco, by overcoming practical constraints to their application.

    Focus:the Gharb Plain in the Sebou basin

    core area of agricultural development


The sebou basin

THE SEBOU BASIN

From 1970: “politics of dams”, equipment of large agricultural areas, development of agro-industry (Projet Sebou)

Waterresources in Sebou Basin: Oued Sebou and tributaries (Beht, Ouergha).

  • Annual contribution: 6 Bm3(27% of available national waters).

  • Groundwater stocks: 900 Mm3

    Realisations:

    - 10 large dams

    - 44 small dams

    - Matmata gallery for water transfer

    - Thousands of wells.

    Agriculture consumes 97% of all mobilised freshwaters of the basin.


The gharb plain

THE GHARB PLAIN

Climate: Mediterranean with oceanic influence

Soils: fine alluvium with a clay content of 15-55%  high potential for agriculture

Population: 1.500.000 inhabitants (48% urban, 52% rural), partly in small urban areas and partly spread in more than 1000 douars.


Development of irrigation 1 colonial period 1912 1956

DEVELOPMENT OF IRRIGATION1) Colonial period (1912 – 1956)

French occupation and development of agriculture:

Development of 800 farms on 175.000 ha

  • First hydraulic infrastructures:

    - 700 km of drainage canals to drain merjas (1940-1962)

    - El Kansera Dam (1935) on Oued Beht for irrigation of Beht perimeter in Sidi Slimane;

    - Private pumping on the oued

    At Indipendence (1956): 45.000 ha of irrigated lands:

    25.000 ha in Beht perimeter

    20.000 ha from private pumping

  • Effects:

    - introduction of commercial crops (citrus fruits, rice, oleaginous)

    - population transfer to urban centres and degradation of local livelihoods

    - marginalisation of traditional pasture areas (e.g. by remediation of merjas)

    - alteration of tribal organization


Development of irrigation 2 since 1970 politics of dams projet sebou

DEVELOPMENT OF IRRIGATION2) Since 1970 (“Politics of dams” - Projet Sebou)

  • Extension of irrigated perimeters

  • Wide crop diversification

  • Development of agro-industry

    5 sugar refineries

    4 rice mills

    7 flour mills

    1 dairy production

    1 cotton manufacture

    1 orange juice production

    1 tomato manufactoring

    1 animal food production

    14 packaging plants.

    Gharb compared to National production:

  • 95% rice

  • 70-80% oleaginous

  • 40-50% strawberries

  • 25-35% sugar

  • 20-25% citrus fruits

  • 6-16% cereals.

Crops structure in Gharb Plain - Comparison 1970 - 2000

(Projet Sebou 1970; ORMVAG 2001)

* Strawberry, asparagus, melon and all kind of vegetables

** Sunflower, peanut

*** Citrus fruits, rosaceous plants, vineyards


Irrigation in the gharb plain

IRRIGATION IN THE GHARB PLAIN

  • Total surface: 616.000 ha

    Surface potentially irrigable (planned by Projet Sebou): 250.000 ha,

    of which only 120.000 ha have been equipped:

    - 107.000 ha large irrigation schemes

    - 13.000 ha small/medium schemes

    Surface irrigated by private pumping:

    22.000 ha

    Cultivation without artificial irrigation: 276.000 ha

  • Irrigation systems:

    Gravitation: 87.000 ha

    Sprinkler: 19.700 ha

    Dams  Changes in territorial and socio-economic structure


Territorial impacts

TERRITORIAL IMPACTS

  • Development of important territorial inequalities

*Private property

** Lands traditionally assigned to soldiers


Socio economic impacts

SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS

  • Social restructuring. Main features:

    - Large farmers (> 50 ha): 2% of farmers, 33% of agricultural surface

    highest consumption rate of soil, water resources and other inputs

    distribution and marketing

    authorized private pumping

    - Medium farmers (50 to 5 ha): 29% of farmers, 44% of agricultural surface

    weaker financial capacities

    family management

    rare authorization for private pumping

    - Small farmers (< 5 ha): 69% of farmers, 23% of agricultural surface

    CIA (Code d’Investissements Agricoles) does not authorize irrigation rights

    demographic weight (8-10 people for family)

    complex land tenure: melk is rare

    debt exposure

    cultivation based on forage

    livestock

    - Agricultural water users associations: formally 48 associations in the Gharb

    no effective influence on organisation, management and distribution of water


Demographic impacts

DEMOGRAPHIC IMPACTS

  • Effects:

    2 migration trends:

  • From mountains to the central plain

  • From the central plain (overpopulated) to the regional urban centres (Larache, Tanger, Kénitra, Tétouan) and to Casablanca

    Extension of urban areas and rural villages

    Development of bidonvilles and insalubrious areas

    near industries, large farms and urban areas

    (20.600 families in bidonvilles)


Environmental impacts

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • 2) Agricultural pollution :

  • use of fertilizers and pesticides.

  • drainage of polluted waters contaminates groundwater.

  • - main pollutants: nitrates and phosphates.

  • Estimates for whole Sebou:

  • - 8.670 tons/year of total Nitrogen;

  • - 2.050 tons/year of Phosphates.

1) Soil salinity, due to :

-Bad drainage

- Use of wastewater from drainage canals

- Waterlogging, superficial water table

- Disfunctionalities in gravitational irrigation

3) Agro-industrial wastes

Localisation of main industries


Water infrastructures and impacts in the sebou basin

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • Impacts on water and soil quality human health

  • Loss of wet ecosystems (merjas) due to drainage

Quality of groundwaters in the Gharb Plain (2000-2001)

Quality of superficial waters in the Gharb Plain (2000-2001)


Water demand management

WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT

PROBLEMS:

- inequality in water access;

- water-demanding crops (rice, sugar beet, sugar cane);

- water loss in the nets (50%) and insufficient maintenance.

NEW WATER STRATEGY:

- IWRM principles

- water quality

- demand management and efficient irrigation.

Concrete plans:

- to accelerate the progress in equipment of agricultural schemes

(from annual rate of 10.000 ha, to complete the remaining 110.000 ha)

by more efficient irrigation systems

- to promote water economies, with financial supports to increase adoption of water saving technologies

- “National Program of Localized Irrigation Development”: target of 14.000 ha (in 2003 only 3.000 ha accomplished in Sahel).

Increased State subsidies: from 40% to 60% of the equipment costs.


Water demand management1

WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT

Barriers to the concrete achievements of the “National Program of Localized Irrigation Development” (El Hasnoui 2005):

  • Inadequate equipment proposed by the State respect to the requirements of the main profitable cultivations;

  • Role of private sector in the origin of the localised irrigation.

  • Adoption of the localized irrigation is rather influenced by other constraints:

    - difficult access to credit;

    - difficulties in subsidy granting;

    - land tenure problems;

    - need to create water basins to be shared by farmers groups;

    - not yet sufficient agro-industrial development;

    - need to empower users associations.


Some concluding remarks

SOME CONCLUDING REMARKS

  • Traditional water supply management has created changes on society, economy and environment in the Gharb Plain.

  • Not sufficient attention has been paid to water quality and demand management.

  • New and more effective strategies based on IWRM principles are needed:

    - integration of sectoral water policies to guarantee overall coherence of legislation and effective application of Water law (10/95)

    - water and agricultural institutional reforms


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