Through this project, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, we supported two communities in the High Atlas as they reinvigorated their traditional water management systems with innovative techniques to solve severe water scarcity and quality problems, conserve biodiversity and improve their livelihoods. Through multidisciplinary research and practical actions, approximately 30,000 rural dwellers of key Moroccan watersheds benefitted from the project.
The Ait M’hamed and Imegdal rural communes have extensive river basins hosting fragile water systems as well as irreplaceable biodiversity. GDF collaborated 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 rooted in ingenious traditional Amazigh irrigation systems, while engaging with innovations necessary to face water-related problems resulting from climate change. The plan addresses safe drinking water and sanitation, key to ensuring the improvement of local health and wellbeing.
More efficient water use for domestic and agricultural purposes results in greater flows for the surrounding High Atlas ecosystem, which is replete with important and endemic plant species. Simultaneously, it ensures 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.