The water crisis in Morocco.. Is the government right in the decision to ban car wash activities?

Written by: Ismail Al-Halouti

Parallel to the fight our country is having against the fires that have destroyed thousands of hectares of forests, another fight is taking place by the authorities of the provinces and cities regarding the rationalization of water consumption and the prevention of its wastage to wash cars and vehicles and watering green spaces. , to implement what is included in a correspondence from the Ministry of the Interior and to avoid what many cities and regions may know about a water crisis in the coming months, due to the decrease in dams and water beds, in addition to the drought caused by the scarcity of rain in recent years, especially this year, when car washes that exaggerate the use of drinking water were closed.

The decision to close car wash shops and prevent green spaces from being watered comes within the framework of addressing all manifestations of wasteful use of potable water throughout the Kingdom, regarding the measures taken by the authorities to address the problem of drought and the crisis of water shortage, since our country has become more than ever before of a situation Very alarming and frightening water, which is represented in the great withdrawal of the dams and water basins, and the dangerous depletion of the water mattress. Governors and workers emphasized the need to rationalize the use of this essential substance in irrigation, while relying on well water to irrigate green spaces, and requested provincial heads and local authorities to compel car wash shop owners to use well water or to to close their shops. to avoid misuse of drinking water.

However, the closure decision does not include all car wash shops and vehicles, as some claim, because before the responsible authorities took this action, warnings were sent to their owners based on the value of water consumption bills during the past months, which showed that some people consume drinking water excessively, while It has kept the shops that depend on well water open for its customers and continues its commercial activity.

It is a campaign that has sparked widespread controversy in popular circles and on social media platforms, and there have been conflicting opinions about the measures taken by the public authorities that have struck some as a bolt of lightning. Apart from those who saw it as a positive step, and that, although it came somewhat late, it is a necessary effort to save water in such a difficult situation, as it is an essential national wealth, and that without it life cannot continue, and because the Almighty said: “And We made all living things from water” (Surat Al-Anbiya, verse 30)

On the other hand, there are those who saw it as an attack on the simple people who have no other source of livelihood except washing cars in those shops with whom he shares the profits and the duty to rent, instead of resorting to the authorities. to the people’s loft, where the irrigation of golf courses, the gardens of their villas and their private swimming pools drain thousands of cubic meters of water. Drinking water, not to mention what is consumed by agricultural and other farms. Some experts believe that drought has stabilized in Morocco since 2018, without the state taking the necessary precautions, and that the root of the problem in which Morocco is floundering today is that there is about 87 percent of the water resource that is not subject to any law , and it is related to the water used in agriculture.

This means that Act No. 95.10 codified the water used in agriculture, much more than the current Act 15.36, which does not include the agricultural sectors. But what is certain is that it came to correct the shortcomings of its predecessor and achieve a set of objectives, such as consolidating the profits, strengthening the legal framework related to the valuation of rainwater and waste water, establishing a legal framework for seawater desalination, the institutional framework and mechanisms for the protection and conservation of water resources, as well as the improvement of the protection conditions One of the extreme phenomena associated with climate changes. It is also based on a set of basic principles, such as public ownership of water, the right of all citizens to access water and live in a healthy environment, water management according to good governance practices that include participation and consultation with various actors, integrated and decentralized management of water resources with the consolidation of spatial solidarity, and the protection of water resources The natural environment and the development of sustainable management.

So where are we from the “Water Police”, which is a legal framework for the protection of Morocco’s water resources, especially since Chapter One of the same Law 15.36 on water devotes an important space to the strengthening of monitoring and support of the Water Police, based on the new perspective of water management, as it entrusted this police with monitoring tasks in order to provide Adequate protection of the national water wealth, and to preserve it against any possible depletion or damage to it. Where the police, according to the requirements of the law, inspect the offenses committed, and they also have the right to access water facilities, including wells, holes and other equipment, take samples, stop works and seize lay on mechanisms and tools.

While we regret the continuation of the prosthetic solution policy, we are outraged at the state of anxiety that has begun to overwhelm us for fear of a worsening of the water crisis, in the absence of a forward-looking vision, good governance and good planning. Hassan II, may God rest his soul, called for the preservation of our national wealth, which requires the efforts of all to reduce the disregard of the national water wealth and intensify the zeal to rationalize its consumption , so we can provide fresh water for future generations…

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