The World Bank (WB) announced, on July 24, a USD 350 million financing program for Morocco to support the Moroccan government in implementing its National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation (PNAEPI; 2020-2027).
According to the World Bank (WB), this program, which was launched in 2020, aims to improve water security by accelerating investment in the water sector and strengthening the resilience of drinking water and irrigation supplies.
The World Bank (WB) financing program will contribute to the overall activities of the national drinking water supply and irrigation program through three strategic pillars, namely strengthening water sector governance, improving financial sustainability and water use efficiency, and supporting the integration and use of non-conventional water resources.
Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta at the World Bank (WB), Jesko Hentschel, stated, on the occasion of the financing approved by the Board of Executive Directors on July 18, that “providing access to natural resources, particularly water, while preserving them, is essential for building a sustainable future in Morocco.”
“To this end, this new Program aims to reinforce water security for all in Morocco and provides support for the updating and the adoption of the National Water Plan (PNE) that defines the 30-year vision for the water sector,” explained Hentschel.
The financial institution emphasized that this program will contribute to strengthening water sector governance by protecting groundwater resources, improving the quality and availability of water-related information, supporting the performance of river basin agencies, and establishing mandatory reporting.
The program also seeks to strengthen the water sector’s resilience to climate change by establishing a financial model, adopting an action plan for financial sustainability, and implementing an awareness strategy for the national drinking water and irrigation supply program to raise awareness of the importance of water conservation and reduce water losses in distribution networks.
For his part, Lead Water Resources Management Specialist and Program co-leader at the World Bank (WB), Marcus Wishart, affirmed that the program will support “the government’s efforts to strengthen recognition of the value of water, increase transparency of costs along the water value chain and incentivize more efficient and rational uses of scarce water resources.”
In a similar context, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist and Program Leader at the World Bank (WB), Carolina Dominguez Torres, emphasized that “the program aims to save 25 million m3 of potable water in distribution water supply networks, the equivalent of the annual consumption in El Jadida and Sidi Bennour provinces.”
Torres added that the program seeks to use “52 million m3 of treated wastewater available for reuse, which represents 52% of the PNAEPI’s target of 100 million of treated wastewater available for reuse by 2030.”