Ecologists are worried about the growing water stress that Morocco has been suffering from for several years. The country is in the grip of its worst drought in 30 years.
Faced with this emergency, the “Morocco Environment 2050” movement has called on the government to eliminate all crops that dry up the country’s groundwater and promote drought.


The movement promotes stopping the cultivation of watermelon and avocado because, the avocado tree consumes a huge amount of water, one kilo of avocado, or about five fruits, requires up to 1,000 liters of water.
While one kilo of watermelons planted in the desert consumes 45 liters of water when using drip technology. Thus, according to this movement, “a 10 kg watermelon can consume 450 liters of fresh water”.

Credit: sakatavegetables.com

For these environmentalists, Morocco actually exports one of its most precious natural resources, its groundwater. The “Morocco Environment 2050” movement considers this “a threat” to the security of the country’s water resources, especially since the cultivation of avocado trees requires irrigation with drinking water.

Credit: AGRIFARMBLOG

Ecologists have taken the example of watermelon, which is a fruit composed of 80% water, to show that its export is nothing other than the export of a rare commodity which should be protected.

They pointed out that “The export of 10 kg of watermelons abroad is equivalent to  an amount of 8 kg of non-renewable groundwater  which is given abroad without return.”
Faced with the urgent need, several possible solutions have been proposed by experts. Some think that a “promising” water niche capable of generating added value to Moroccan agriculture would be important. But also to help compensate for the shortcomings of the agricultural trade balance.


Emphasis on the social level as well as on the economic level was also brought up by the experts, since the cultivation of the avocado tree makes it possible to attract colossal investments from abroad. So they must find another way to make up for this potentially lost investments.

Faced with the reality that the country is experiencing, namely the scarcity of water resources, two questions arise. Is it necessary to produce these fruit crops for export or conserve water resources?

Credit: https://stock.adobe.com/


However, a series of strategies have been put in place by the Moroccan government in order to minimize the damage with the hope of a profound improvement in the situation in the years to come. The country’s authorities have announced that by 2023 they will build 120 river dams and will also strengthen programs dedicated to the desalination of seawater and wastewater.

But some experts remain skeptical about these various measures taken by the government, such as Mohamed Benata, agricultural engineer, doctor of geography and president of the Espace de solidarité et de coopération de l’Oriental (ESCO), who thinks that all these measures are “insufficient”.

“Morocco has put in place public policies, particularly in the agricultural sector, aimed at the overexploitation of groundwater resources to encourage the production and export of crops that consume too much water. This has led to the lowering of all the water tables across the country, which is a very serious strategic mistake,” he laments.

Credit: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/

Long subject to climatic variations, Morocco has suffered since September 2021 from a severe rainfall deficit. According to official statistics, there is an alarming drop in dam reserves of nearly 89% compared to the annual average.

For the moment, “only life-saving rains during the next September-October season can save the country from a social, economic and environmental disaster”, underlines Mohamed Benata.

Billy Omeonga

Billy Omeonga graduated in Journalism and Creative Writing. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of the People in the United States of America. I love activities that involve ideas and critical thinking. I am passionate about nature and protecting the environment. I believe in protecting our planet and its natural resources. I hate dishonest and pessimistic people. Honesty is an integral part of my view of the world and it is a value in which I strongly believe. I speak French and English fluently. In my free time, I like to read and play the piano. Also, I disapprove of the unreliability. I am a reliable person, so I expect a certain level of reliability from those I am reliable to.

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