Moroccan dam pump decline poses challenge to dispose of sludge with gargantuan budgets

Given the decrease in the strategic water reserves of the dams in recent weeks due to the problem of drought, environmental experts called for taking advantage of the situation to remove the sludge that drains the national dams.

According to a previous report by the Superior Council of Accounts, the total volume of sludge is estimated at 2.24 billion cubic meters, which represents about 12.72 percent of the total capacity of the dam estimated at 17.6 billion cubic meters.

The sludge removal process requires a high financial cost at a global level, which can exceed the budget for the construction of the dam in some cases, which poses important challenges for the environmental decision maker in Morocco.

The slowness threatens the future of the Kingdom’s hydraulic installations in the coming decades, especially since official reports indicate that the phenomenon contributes to the loss of 70 million cubic meters of reservoir capacity each year.

The weakening of the vegetation cover, the successive floods and droughts, and the pressure on the forest area increase the rate of soil erosion, which would increase the turbidity of the Moroccan dams.

In this context, Ayoub Krir, a Moroccan expert in sustainable development, said that “sludge is an environmental phenomenon that is not limited to Morocco, but includes all the countries of the world”, and pointed out that “it costs a huge budget of Public finances”. .”

Krir added, speaking to the online newspaper Hespress, that “Morocco has a unique political approach to dam building since independence, and this is the state’s desire to maintain water security.”

He continued: “The water challenge is not the only one facing Morocco, but there is another challenge related to the maintenance of the dams, especially in the current situation due to the relative drought of several of them.”

The Moroccan researcher in sustainable development stated that “a set of small and large dams suffer greatly from sludge, which makes it necessary to search for urgent solutions on the ground in the coming months.”

He considered that “the maintenance of dams is divided between natural solutions represented in the planting of trees to prevent soil erosion, and technological solutions reflected in the dependence on fish that feed on living organisms.”

Krir believes that “technological solutions are very expensive and are only adopted by large countries”, but asked to “take advantage of the experience of Moroccan skills abroad that many foreign companies manage”.