Water Sector Governance in Morocco
The Moroccan model is built around the public ownership of water resources. The State is the manager of the resources and is responsible for building the mobilization works (or granting a concession to do so) and for allocating the resources thus regulated to the uses it favors.The mobilization of water resources is carried out by dams for surface water, catchment areas for groundwater, desalination units for sea water and purification units for treated water. The dams constitute the main part of the mobilization.
The transport of drinking water is an exclusive prerogative of the National Office of Water and Electricity (ONEE). This provision of the law creating this Office aims to give it a monopoly in the production of drinking water. This monopoly would allow for an administered setting of supply prices for the public utilities and distribution concessions.
The distribution of drinking water is a local public service, the organization of which is the exclusive prerogative of the Communal Council. The municipality is responsible for organizing local public services for its inhabitants. The local council may set up a public utility, or it may grant a concession to a private company or to ONEE. The utility has a monopoly on the territory of the municipality for the public service in question.
The public sewerage service follows the same rules as the distribution of drinking water. The municipality is responsible for organizing the service. In practice, it delegates it to the entity responsible for the distribution of drinking water: regies, concessions or ONEE. Strongly encouraged by the Ministry of Agriculture, the development of irrigation in Morocco is based on three distinct logics. Irrigation projects developed by farmers, collective projects led by associations or groups and finally, public irrigation networks, carried out and managed by public institutions.
It should be noted that the Moroccan model has some limitations from an economic and political point of view. It is therefore necessary to plan a revision in order to better adapt it to current needs. To this end, the main areas of reform of the Moroccan model could be: financing and pricing, national regulation of the sector, sustainable management of groundwater and an alternative model for financing the services of irrigation offices.
In our report you can find a number of water infrastructure projects and related business opportunities for Swiss companies.