Ayoub Krir, an expert on climate and sustainable development and president of the Oxygen Association for Environment and Health, said that Morocco and many countries are on the verge of “worst case scenarios” if immediate and urgent solutions are not developed to end climate deterioration. , while forcing countries to honor their commitments.
In a video interview with the online newspaper Hespress, a few weeks before the climate summit in Egypt (COP27), the university researcher in sustainable development and climate issues at Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra made pessimistic predictions about the “frequency of changes extreme weather”. ” at the end of 2022 and the beginning of next year. It drew attention that skeptics about the effects of climate change in the short term have already found out and are now sure that “climate change is a reality and a tangible reality, affecting the human environment, health and the entire field in which we live”.
In his speech, the same environmental expert called for “strengthening control over the depletion of water resources by factories and some industries, warning of the “adverse effects” that watershed link projects may have to deal with the current shortage problem.
This is the text of the conversation:
We live the hot months of July and August at the end of October. How can we explain the high temperatures despite the end of summer?
The world has known for years a huge increase in temperatures, and the accelerating effects of climate change that have overshadowed several countries in the world, including African countries, especially Morocco.
Morocco has a variety of naturally rich fields, but in recent years climatic changes have posed a notable danger due to the deterioration of natural fields, the decrease of green fields, the depletion of natural resources, the decrease in the level of water wells and other disastrous disasters for man and his field.
The international organization committed itself, during the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) of 2015, to reduce the temperature between two and one and a half degrees Celsius to pre-industrial levels; This challenge has explicitly shown, in recent years, that there is a “regression in the commitments of the states and their leaders from this commitment, given that the real solutions taken by the states have not been implemented as required.”
Thus, we notice the increase in industrial activities, the increase in human activities that are destructive to the environment, as well as human greed. All these factors do not help to achieve these goals provided for in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. of the United Nations 2030. The conclusion is that the disaster is very bad.
What the world is witnessing now is that the air temperature is still at very high levels, even if we are in late autumn and approaching winter, and even those who are skeptical about the effects of short-term climate changes , it has become clear. to them now and they are already sure that climate change is a reality and a tangible reality, affecting the human environment and health and the entire field in which we live.
Now the climate risk is too great; Due to the fact that vast areas retreated, due to the lack of rain and the succession of dry seasons, with record levels of temperature increase, so this year could be one of the hottest on the planet; This is not new, because human activities are increasing dramatically and most countries have not adhered to their commitments, especially the Paris climate requirements.
Morocco is an integral part of this system, as our country is experiencing the dangerous repercussions of climate extremism, with massive deterioration of natural resources, severe water shortages and chronic drought. Because the Kingdom was known for years of drought, but the change that occurred was the duration of the drought and the succession of its long years, which caused the water level to drop. The catastrophe, frankly, is that the situation will deteriorate further, due to a variety of impacts on the natural system, ecological and biological diversity, and natural resources. They are, therefore, very serious repercussions whose consequences man will continue to bear.
respectively; Do current climate indicators suggest the recurrence of a new dry season?
The current scenario predicts a catastrophe worse than the previous one. Consequently, all scientific data, international or national, indicate that the disaster will increase, with the need to prepare for it, redoubling efforts despite some showers that have occurred in recent days in various regions of Morocco; But it was an exception and it is not enough.
The percentage of dams continues to decline steadily and the demand for water is increasing; Therefore, the scenario we are currently experiencing is very bad. Climate change has become a reality.
All indicators point in the direction that we are approaching the dry days and months, as the percentage fill of dams remains low and is increasing, and groundwater and wells are steadily declining. This will inevitably affect the agricultural field and agricultural yield, especially since Morocco The economy depends in part Much of it is on agriculture, and all countries that depend for their economy on the agricultural sector will be affected and will worsen even more.
We live in an international system, even European countries that until recently were immune to periods of drought, are now experiencing real climatic disasters due to water scarcity, lack of rainfall and the presence of an unprecedented drought, not to mention of African and North African countries. , which are among the countries most affected by climate change.
All the data indicates that we are experiencing the worst scenarios, very difficult times and days that require another strategy and double action, because the danger will have disastrous consequences for the environment and human health, as well as for its economy and all areas of life. their activities.. These are the scientific data that we were and were asking for by a group of scholars; According to that, climatic changes intensify to be seriously reflected, over the years, in all aspects of life; And now we have come to this fact, with great regret.
In your opinion, any possible solutions and practical suggestions to address water scarcity?
Morocco has witnessed for years a large investment in a set of projects that predicted that we would fall into this scenario. Our country has known large investments in terms of the establishment and construction of large and medium-sized dams, as well as green investments, and energy fields. renewable energy, whether solar or wind, and the construction of a set of seawater desalination plants and others. All these are measures that Morocco has taken years ago, according to a prospective future vision.
Nor do we lose sight of the recent royal speech, which explicitly expressed, for the first time, the danger of the lack of rain and the scarcity of water in Morocco, and gave all the indications that we are experiencing an exceptional situation related to the repercussions of climate change. climate in our country and in all the countries of the world.
Morocco invested and continues to invest in the aforementioned projects to save what can be saved and ease the burden of climate change, but these measures remain insufficient.
Reality confirms that we are still, in Morocco, living to the rhythm of a set of methods and methods that contribute to the depletion of natural resources, the main one of which is water. Where we find large green areas that are irrigated through wells with drinking water. There is also water that is wasted (washing water and toilets, residual water and residual water) and is not used and is well invested to recycle and irrigate green spaces. All countries are now getting tougher not to lose a single water point of all kinds.
Our country must take all measures to reuse all types of water (rainwater, industrial and residual water); I wonder here: Why is rainwater used after it has fallen to be used in times of scarcity?
I would like to point out here also that there are factories and industries in Morocco that greatly deplete the water resources without counting them. They must be obliged to apply the law, and authorities and officials must be careful to monitor these factories whose consumption is close to what some cities as a whole can consume.
It is a fact that we have arrived at, and citizens should not be held responsible, because they are far from what some companies, institutions, laboratories, and in the field of tourism and agriculture are emptying. Thus, the citizen is a small part of the system that drains the water in Morocco.
We must be strict in our treatment, at the level of industrial fields, for all factories and factories, which must recycle their water and not exploit wells and groundwater, because the waterbed is constantly disappearing. The tourist stations must also comply with the strict application of the laws of water, environment, control and quality.
We must also transform our dealings with all workshops, projects and industries to be in accordance with the use of advanced and modern equipment to recycle each wastewater point.
Morocco is currently working on projects to connect water between basins. What do you think?
Within the framework of solidarity between the regions of Morocco, the State is now embarking on the preparation of large projects to convey or transfer part of the water to other regions and geographical areas that suffer from scarcity. I will mention here, for example, the water link project between the Sebou and Bouregreg basins; A canal will branch off from Oued Sebou to benefit areas in Rabat and Casablanca.
Projects linking Morocco’s main watersheds have been planned for years and will play an important role in saving other areas from water scarcity; But I see that it has negative repercussions on the environment and on the water resource itself. The Western Basin is considered a fertile area with wonderfully high-quality groundwater, however, we do notice some depletion when water resources are transferred to other areas, especially during successive drought years; There are also examples from other regions that were rich in water resources, but have been depleted.
We fear that this scenario will be repeated in the western region and in the Sebou basin, rich in water resources. What happens is that it will cover a shortage, but it can result in another danger, which is the occurrence of pressure on groundwater and affect the region’s water system; It is among the scenarios that must be investigated so that this area is not subject to a great depletion of its waters, taking into account that it is an agricultural and irrigated area par excellence.
There is also another scenario for the proposed solutions, which is to increase investment in seawater desalination plants, especially in coastal regions, which must allocate one plant for each seawater treatment body in order to benefit from it for drinking water and agricultural irrigation.
In short, it is not a luxury to rationalize the use of water resources circumscribed to one side without the other, in parallel to going towards the future towards the realization of large projects, among which wastewater treatment plants with industrial uses stand out.