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Friday, 14 November 2014 12:00 AM

Water Use On Holiday In Morocco

On holiday in Morocco it is important to understand the impact of our holiday on Morocco – this is Responsible Tourism. That is a grand term for having empathy for the local Moroccan environment and Moroccan peoples.

One such area where it is simple to be responsible is in water conservation. Morocco, although lying north of the Sahara, is a relatively arid country where water is a precious commodity. Whilst tourism is a valuable source of foreign income for Morocco (one of its largest trading sectors), tourism puts significant strain on natural resources, in particular water.

Its raining again in the UK, and we and our children are used to the normally plentiful access to clean water in our homes, but its important to recognise that is not necessarily the case in Morocco.

morocco's Declining Water Table

Statistics on the declining water table in Morocco are hard to come by but a study in 1995 (Report of Francisco Olivera's Visit to the Direction Generale de l'Hydraulique (DGH) of Morocco, http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/gishydro/olivera/morocco/report.htm) looked at the Souss Basin region – the area around Agadir and stretching inland for around 200km south of the High Atlas mountains – concluded that the water table had been depleted by as much as 100m over the previous 40-50 years in some places and was declining by as much as 1m per year despite water feeding from the local mountains and reservoirs there.

This finding is repeated anecdotally by the local inhabitants who state that the water table of the region is continuing to go down.

Water Constraint On Holiday in Morocco

Most Moroccan riads and hotels have showers in their bathrooms, but where baths are available we recommend that baths are used sparingly as showers generally use much less water.

The now normal hotel routine of leaving your towels on the floor if they need replacing also applies in most of Morocco, which saves a lot of water by not washing them daily.

NB Although golf courses are proliferating around Marrakech we understand that they are irrigated by grey water taken from nearby conurbations, obviously reducing their impact.

It Does Rain In Morocco

That all said it does rain in Morocco on occasions, but typically not to the extent that we experience in the UK – ranging from around 9 cm annual average in the desert regions up to around 75 cm annual average in Tangier (the wetest region), with around 25 cm average annually in Marrakech - Morocco's weather statistics.

I hope that it doesn’t rain or snow (the High Atlas gets snow in mid winter) during your holiday, although obviously its good for Morocco.