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Article

Groundwater Depletion in an Urban Environment under Semiarid Climate and Persistent Drought–City of Marrakesh (Morocco)

Laboratory Geosciences Semlalia, Department Geology, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
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Academic Editor: Chin H Wu
Water 2021, 13(22), 3253; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223253
Received: 14 September 2021 / Revised: 1 November 2021 / Accepted: 5 November 2021 / Published: 17 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
The quantitative monitoring of the shallow aquifer in Marrakesh and its surrounding area shows that the water table has been lowered gradually over the last 40 years, and attaining an acute decline in the early 2000s. This declining trend—if confirmed in the future—may lead to a water shortage, or even to a total aquifer depletion, which would be devastating for a region where economic activity and drinking water supply rely partly on groundwater resources. Two factors account for this situation: the hot semi-arid climate characterized by high temperatures and low precipitation, causing an inadequate groundwater recharge (deficit between rainwater supply and the potential evapotranspiration), and the over-pumping of groundwater from wells for intensive agricultural uses and some leisure activities (golf courses, waterparks and pools, for example). The objective of this study is to assess the hydrodynamic behaviour of the shallow aquifer in this context of persistent drought and semi-arid climate under intense use conditions. Based on earlier research studies and hydrological data recently collected from the field, a spatiotemporal analysis using a geographic information system has been conducted, allowing researchers to monitor the evolution of groundwater resources under the impact of intense exploitation. This study shows a general decline of groundwater level in the city of Marrakesh between 1962–2019. However, by dividing this period into three periods (1962–1985, 1986–2001 and 2002–2019), it is obvious that the main groundwater fall occurred during the two last decades, a period marked by highest recorded temperatures and decreased precipitation levels. This water table decline impacted 85% of the study area and is estimated at 0.9 m/year. The area most affected by the drawdown of the water table experienced a decline reaching 37 m between 2002 and 2019 (more than 2 m a year). View Full-Text
Keywords: water table; semi-arid climate; groundwater depletion; overexploitation; Marrakesh water table; semi-arid climate; groundwater depletion; overexploitation; Marrakesh
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MDPI and ACS Style

Analy, M.; Laftouhi, N.-E. Groundwater Depletion in an Urban Environment under Semiarid Climate and Persistent Drought–City of Marrakesh (Morocco). Water 2021, 13, 3253. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223253

AMA Style

Analy M, Laftouhi N-E. Groundwater Depletion in an Urban Environment under Semiarid Climate and Persistent Drought–City of Marrakesh (Morocco). Water. 2021; 13(22):3253. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223253

Chicago/Turabian Style

Analy, Mohammed, and Nour-Eddine Laftouhi. 2021. "Groundwater Depletion in an Urban Environment under Semiarid Climate and Persistent Drought–City of Marrakesh (Morocco)" Water 13, no. 22: 3253. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223253

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