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Open AccessArticle

Future of Water Supply and Demand in the Middle Drâa Valley, Morocco, under Climate and Land Use Change

Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sujay Kaushal
Water 2016, 8(8), 313;
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
PDF [3812 KB, uploaded 25 July 2016]


Regions of scarce fresh water resources, such as the Middle East and North Africa, are facing great challenges already today, and even more in the future, due to climatic and socioeconomic changes. The Middle Drâa valley in Morocco is one of many semi-arid to arid mountainous areas struggling with increasing water scarcity threatening self-sufficient husbandry. In order to maintain people’s livelihoods water management needs to be adapted. The Water Evaluation And Planning System (WEAP) software has been widely used to examine complex water systems in the water resource planning sector all around the world and proved to be a helpful asset to show the various interactions of water supply and demand. This paper presents the application of WEAP on the Middle Draâ valley’s water demand and supply, including several socioeconomic and land use scenarios under one basic climate change scenario. The climate scenario shows a significant decrease in available water resources up to 2029 while all socioeconomic scenarios show an increase in water demand. In years of droughts groundwater is used for irrigation, leading to increasingly depleted aquifers. The aquifers are recharged by percolation losses from irrigation and by river bed infiltration the latter of which is stronger in the northern oases than in the southern oases due to water withdrawal rules. A drastic reduction of irrigated agricultural area is the only solution to guarantee sustainable water use. View Full-Text
Keywords: IWRM; WEAP model; semi-arid; irrigation; water scarcity; groundwater; reservoir IWRM; WEAP model; semi-arid; irrigation; water scarcity; groundwater; reservoir

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Johannsen, I.M.; Hengst, J.C.; Goll, A.; Höllermann, B.; Diekkrüger, B. Future of Water Supply and Demand in the Middle Drâa Valley, Morocco, under Climate and Land Use Change. Water 2016, 8, 313.

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