Funded by a Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund large grant, this project provides support to two communities in the High Atlas as they seek to reinvigorate their traditional water management systems with innovative techniques, with a view to solving severe water scarcity and quality problems, conserving biodiversity and improving their livelihoods. Through multidisciplinary research and practical actions, we expect 30,000 rural dwellers of key Moroccan watersheds to benefit from the project.
The Ait M’hamed and Imegdale rural communes where the project takes place have extensive river basins hosting fragle water systems as well as irreplaceable biodiversity. GDF is collaborating with partners already active in these communities, local authorities and community members (including community researchers) to develop a participatory water resource action plan, and assist with natural resource management and sustainable livelihoods activities. The participatory water resource action plan is to be rooted in the ingenious traditional Amazigh irrigation systems, while engaging with innovations necessary to face the water-related problems resulting from climate change. The plan will also address safe drinking water and sanitation, which are key to ensuring the improvement of local health and wellbeing.
It is expected that more efficient water use for domestic and agricultural purposes will result in greater flows for the surrounding High Atlas ecosystem, which is replete with important and endemic plant species. Simultaneously, it will ensure that agricultural activities, including cultivation of fruit, nut and medicinal and aromatic plants destined for sale on the market, benefit from more secure and high quality water resources.