State of the water sector

1er Panel focused on Water saving towards a circular economy from the 5th Edition of Industry Mornings with the theme “The Water Industry: Urgent and Future Challenges”, was an opportunity for institutional and non-institutional stakeholders to give an overview of the sector. The meeting took place on January 24, 2022 in Casablanca.

After a period of absence due to the health crisis, which upset the execution schedule of the Matinées de l’Industrie like all events, they are returning on January 24, 2023 in Casablanca. Focusing on ” The Water Industry: Urgent and Future Challenges “, 1er The event’s panel was dedicated to water saving and the circular economy. Speakers in turn, the panelists drew up an inventory taking into account the notions of the theme of their panel.

Rabia Janati Idrissi, Head of the Sustainable Development Division of the General Directorate of Industry at the ministry level, highlighted the efforts made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. ” When we talk about saving water for the industrial sector, it means rationalizing the use of water and reducing energy. she said at the start of her remarks.

On these two aspects, she explains that the ministry has already begun to work, in perfect collaboration with the industrial sector, since Morocco’s commitment at the Rio summit to reconcile economic and social development and the preservation of natural resources, in the 90s. Also, in 96 already the ministry engaged seminars with the profile of the industrial company to carry out projects and programs aiming at first to inform, then to sensitize the sector on the concept of sustainable development. Sustainable development is the rationalization of resources, including water resources. Demonstration projects with the profile of industrial companies have also been carried out, particularly within the framework of cooperation with UNIDO, French cooperation and others. The aim is to show the benefits of more efficient water use in the field.

Zineb Failali, Head of the Water Planning Division of the General Directorate of Water at the level of the Ministry of Equipment and Water

Water resources in Morocco are really limited. And the public authorities have made great efforts to ensure that Moroccan citizens continue to have water without difficulty. In terms of efforts, these include very significant investments and programs. Regarding current investments and over the next 5 years, the Ministry of Water and Equipment with all its partners, on royal instruction, has established the National Program for Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation 2020 – 2027. It has just been adjusted to further integrate water desalination, which is becoming the solution for adapting to climate change for Morocco. This Program also includes economic actions. In terms of improving the yields of drinking water at the level of the major poles, centers and cities, we envisage a yield of 78% in 2027, currently we are around 66.8%. With regard to the reuse of wastewater, this is a very interesting project for industrialists. The promotion of wastewater reuse in the industrial sector must be increasingly encouraged, regardless of the water situation.

The vision of the Ministry of Water is centered around 3 main axes relating to the coherence between water and industry. 1er focuses on the economy and better use of water, the 2th concerns the development of an industrial fabric to support the water policy: desalination of REUE water… As for the 3th axis is the fight against industrial pollution. In this sense, action plans have been drawn up for existing industries. Also, preventive actions and pollution reduction at source have been implemented for future industries.

Amine Zarouk, Co-founder & partner ARWA Solutions Smart Irrigation

When we talk about the water industry, it takes into account all the stakeholders in the ecosystem. Some studies say that 85% of water is consumed by irrigation. There is a bit of truth in these words, but as the Minister of Industry and Commerce said, everything that is miscellaneous is wrapped up in the Agriculture part. And why ? Because of all the consumption of energy and industry, we know roughly how to measure and count the m3 consumed. On the other hand, in agriculture we do not have the necessary mechanisms to be able to measure the water consumed. Faced with this, technology and digital can provide a real answer. It is in this context that ARWA Solutions, a Smart Irrigation startup, intervenes to enable the monitoring of water management.

It should be noted that irrigation is not only agriculture, there is also the irrigation of green spaces, which is extremely important. So the issue of irrigation goes beyond agriculture. On our side, ARWA Solutions offers simple and accessible solutions which allow to know the quantity of water necessary for the irrigation of an agricultural surface. These are artificial intelligence-based IoT solutions that capture weather data and combine it with soil humility sensors. With this technique we will be able to accurately determine the amount of water needed to give the plant. There is also a component, namely the monitoring system which makes it possible to accurately calculate water consumption. It also allows you to send alerts in the event of a leak.

Fouzia Taoumi, Managing Director of Schiele Morocco

This is an opportunity to present Schiele Maroc, a 100% Moroccan company made up of 100% Moroccan resources, with more than 50 engineers. When we talk about saving water and the circular economy, it means rethinking our mode of production and consumption. Schiele Morocco has always supported national strategies through rural electrification. There was the Rural Electrification Plan and today Morocco is practically 100% electrified. This national vision has created an industry behind it. This industry today not only in Morocco but is exported everywhere else, precisely in Africa. We also supported the national strategy for the generalization of the telecommunications network across Morocco via the Pacte project.

Regarding the water industry, we have the honor of supporting the development of the activity of desalination stations. In our deployment in the field, we started with the rehabilitation of the largest station in 2018. It was an inactive station located near Agadir and the Laâyoune station. It was a rather delicate but very rewarding exercise. Afterwards we criss-crossed the southern regions of Morocco, where there were desalination stations in the fishing villages, but we were building hard. So for projects that could be done very quickly, it was done in 2 or 3 years. And that’s where we took up our pilgrim’s stick to challenge the authorities, in order to be able to think about decentralizing and proposing solutions ” plug and play “. We are working on a project of about twenty desalination stations across Morocco, to supply rural areas. We are also in the process of building a factory in Agadir to produce these stations locally.

In this same panel, the recycling and R&D aspects were also discussed. Touria Sbiri, President of the Federation of Recycling and Waste Management, and General Manager of SERP Recyclage, focused her speech on saving water and protecting the environment. Laila Barfoud, Senior R&D Manager in charge of the Water and Environment program at Reminex, and Mohamed Zahouily, Director of the Center for the Valorization of Natural Resources VARENAS – Fondation MAScIR, spoke on the R&D aspect. More details will be given on their intervention in the Magazine which will be dedicated to the event.

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