Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant launched in Morocco

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Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant launched in Morocco
[IMAGE/COURTESY]

The construction of Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant has been launched in Casablanca, Morocco. Minister of Transport and Logistics, Abdelkader Amara, announced the launch while addressing Parliament’s enquiry on the measures taken by government to address water scarcity in the country.

Upon completion, the US $1 billion project will be Africa’s largest seawater desalination plant and will function with a capacity of over 300 million cubic meters.

The seawater desalination project comes at a time when Morocco’s water reservoirs are faced with significant deficits following a decreased national average dam filling rate which has been on a downward trajectory since September 2019.

According to World Resources Institute (WRI), Morocco is among 33 countries to face extremely high water stress by 2040.

READ: Morocco unveils multi-billion strategy to ease water stress

In response to the looming future water stress, Morocco has outlined a number of projects to counter the scarcity, key among them is the construction of Douira seawater desalination station at a cost of about US$310 million. It will have a treatment capacity of around 75 million cubic meters of water per year and will provide drinking and irrigation water to the people of the Chtouka Ait Baha region in Morocco.

Minister Amara said the set of projects adds to Morocco’s launch of five dams and completed construction of six dams in 2020 and the programming of five additional dams in 2021. Meanwhile, 14 other dams are currently under construction in various regions across the country.

In January, Morocco unveiled a multi-billion strategy to ease water stress across the country. The 2020-2027 National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program launched by King Mohammed VI include; the construction of dams, irrigation, improving the delivery of drinking water to rural areas, the treatment and reuse of wastewater, “awareness-raising” to reduce demand and the preservation of water resources.

The minister affirmed that Morocco has a clear vision to overcome the dearth of precipitation through the US $12.6 billion Program.