Impact of Global Change on the Water Resources of the oued Ziz (Morocco)

A. Sadiki (Morocco), A. Navas (Spain), A. Faleh (Morocco), L. Gaspar, and J. Machín (Spain)


Groundwater, semidesertic areas, salinization, watermanagement, oued Ziz. Morocco.


Management of water resources is a main environmental issue for the sustainability of agroecosystems and the maintenance of rural population in semi-desertic areas. The oasis of Southern Morocco are facing the threat of desertification due to overexploitation of the water resources and the succession of periods of droughts that have increased at the end of the past century. In the valley of the oued Ziz, the abandonment of the traditional systems of irrigation “khettaras” and the interruption of the natural floods that inundated the valley and recharged the aquifers is causing great impact on water resources. The trend to decreasing annual rainfall and the higher frequency of drought periods that is expected under perspectives of climatic change is also contributing to the general decrease in groundwater storage. In the Ziz valley substantial decreases in the water table are recorded and salinization of the groundwater increase from the headwaters to the lowlands. For most of the valley the highly concentrated sodium chloride waters of the wells make them unsuitable for irrigation. The overexploitation of water resources due to excessive pumping is increasing the risk of soil salinization and will eventually lead to desertification. To tackle this problem recommendations for a more rational water use together are provided.

Important Links:

Go Back