Morocco’s relatively arid climate means there are ever fewer natural water resources. Extreme droughts in recent years are threatening food production and causing soil salinisation. This negatively impacts crop yields, irrigation effects and energy generation. Morocco has laid out its ambitions to tackle these water challenges in its National Water Plan (2020-2050), and to achieve it, could benefit from Dutch water and agri expertise. A Dutch digital mission to Morocco was held from 19 to 22 April 2021.
The mission’s objective was to bring together representatives from both public and private organisations in Morocco and the Netherlands to discuss common challenges and explore possible collaboration and partnerships towards a more sustainable and effective water resource management system. Additionally, the mission was designed to identify specific areas where both governments could potentially collaborate in the future in terms of knowledge-to-knowledge exchanges. The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) was the content partner for the technical sessions which included topics such as Integrated Water Resource Management, Monitoring and Forecasting, Desalination, Water Reuse, Saline Farming, Digitalisation in Agriculture, Farming Best Practices, and Horticulture.
The mission was attended by 16 Dutch water sector organisations – including NWP member organisations eLeaf, Deltares, LG Sonic, FutureWater, Royal IHC, Desolenator and Nijhuis Saur Industries – and featured significant contributions from NWP members Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Royal Eijkelkamp, Acacia Water, and IHE Delft. Morocco was represented by more than 100 participants, which resulted in lively interactions throughout the sessions and a fruitful bustling marketplace.
There were three main takeaways of the mission.
Morocco demonstrates great economic potential, provided it can successfully address its water scarcity and energy concerns in the near future.
There is a need for strong local partners to find a way through the many stakeholders and authorities.
There is undeniable potential in areas such as smart (but not necessarily the highest tech) agriculture, saline farming, desalination, and various types of water and wastewater treatment and reuse.
The digital mission was initiated by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Morocco in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information about the mission and initiatives in Morocco, contact Peter Bervoets, NWP Regional Manager for Africa, at email@example.com or Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes, NWP Project Manager for the MENA region, at firstname.lastname@example.org.