The Kingdom is the sixth Arab country to invest in desalination strategies, both for current and future projects. It relies on its vast Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts to ensure safe drinking water, through the installation of several desalination projects.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the two countries investing the most, given their arid climate and limited water resources, totaling $14.58 billion and $10.28 billion in projects respectively. Jordan, Egypt, and Oman follow.
Morocco, in sixth place, with a total of $2.37 billion invested, is ahead of Tunisia ($950 million), Algeria ($210 million) and Kuwait ($130 million).
The persistent drought of recent years, which has put the country in a situation of chronic aridity, with a critical drop in the level of dams, has prompted Morocco to launch a major program to install desalination and water purification plants, the report said.
11 stations in operation, 5 others in progress
Five major projects have been launched or are in the process of being launched and have been selected in this new desalination plant strategy. They concern the region of Grand Casablanca, the region of Agadir, the Oriental and the Moroccan Sahara through two stations in Laayoune and Dakhla. The Casablanca plant is a priority project and will have a production capacity of 548,000 m³ per day, or 200 million m³ per year. Work is scheduled to start in June 2023.
Eleven stations are currently in operation. In particular, there is the desalination plant of Chtouka-Aït Baha located in Agadir, in operation since January 2022. For the Laâyoune project, the desalination plant already installed will be expanded to gradually cover the drinking water needs of all the inhabitants of Laâyoune and nearby regions.
The Dakhla plant, whose construction will be completed in 2025, has a desalinated water production capacity of 90,000 to 100,000 m³ per day. This structure will produce irrigation water for 5,000 ha, as well as drinking water for the city of Dakhla and its surroundings.
Morocco is planning a total of at least twenty seawater desalination plants by 2030 with a planned capacity of 1.3 billion m³ of water per year, for various uses. The water produced by these stations will be used for 53% of drinking water, 23% for irrigation, while 24% will go to the industry sector.