The Water Industry in Morocco

Over the coming years, the Moroccan Government will be making concerted efforts to improve the chronic deficiencies of the water supply: starting with the shortage of stock and its quality; very uneven distribution from region to region; defective sanitation… This will require large investments to improve distribution and quantity and should offer many opportunities for Catalan businesses which are very well thought of in the country. 

Demand for drinking water has increased over the last few years and is expected to keep growing for the foreseeable future. The main factors boosting this rise are: population growth; developing urbanisation; growing demand from the countryside, agriculture and the private sector (mainly industry and tourism). 

Forecasts for the industry are very bright. There are a number of national plans in place to improve both the supply and sanitation which will mean heavy investment over the coming years. The National Water Strategy (SNE in French initials) includes 50.000 million dirhams (€ 4,500 approx) financing up to 2020. Whilst the National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) plans to invest € 1,638 million for drinking water and € 560 million for sanitation. There are a number of other programmes and projects for the sector, all of which have received considerable backing and finance from international bodies. 

Industry Classification 

Depending on the way the water is treated and the use to which it will be put, the following classifications are used: 

Potable Water Purification – Making water suitable for human consumption. 

Desalination – Removing salt from seawater. 

Waste Water Treatment – Treating (chemically, physically or biologically) waste water so that it can be re-used in industry or agriculture. 

Storage – Water tends to be a scarce good of uncertain supply relying on the rainy seasons that vary vastly over the year. Evening out supply means storing the water, usually in reservoirs, to guarantee year-long stocks. 

Industrial Water – Water treatment for industrial uses. 

Re-cycling – Water treated for re-use. 

Water Resources

Morocco, in common with all the other countries in the region, is suffering from a crisis in water supply, increasing demand on dwindling supplies. Factors that put pressure on the situation and demand for water are: development of private sector irrigation; increased tourism; industrial development and population growth. What elements are influencing this increase in demand? 

General Aspects Affecting Demand: 

  • Demographic Pressures and Urbanisation: Developing nations find that increasing populations bring ever more pressure on water supplies. Urbanisation was 59’2% in 2013 and is forecast to reach 68’5% in 2050. This will result in a considerably increased demand for drinking water in urban areas.
  • Increasing Demand in Rural Areas: Access to drinking water in rural areas is one of the Moroccan Government’s top priorities with coverage at 92% currently a total of 12 million people. 
  • Strong Demand from the Private Sector: With the aim of developing Moroccan industrial fabric and fostering the economic and social progress, the Emergence Plan was put in motion in 2006. Priority sectors include: off-shoring; automotive; aeronautic; electronic; agribusiness, fishing; textile and tourism industries. 
  • Growing Requirements from Agriculture: 2008 saw the presentation of the Plan Maroc Vert (Green Morocco Plan) to revitalise agriculturein the country. In order to be able to carry out this project, water policies have to be reformed by:
    • Driving efforts to find new resources
    • Increasing irrigated lands
    • Delegating control of water for irrigation
    • Pricing incentives
    • Introduction of modern irrigation models
    • Using water for high value-added crops 

Location of Principal Markets Influencing the Factors that Affect Demand:

As mentioned earlier, demand for water can be subdivided using four criteria:

  • Tourism: This can be broken down into six separate tourist destinations: Northern Coastal Zone (from Saïda to Asilah); Central Coast; Southern Coast; Marrakech; Fez and Meknes; mountain and desert areas. 
  • Population Density: the majority of water consumption is concentrated in the main cities. Whilst the capital is Rabat, Casablanca is home to the majority of the population and industry. 
  • Industrial Zones: There are a total of 61 Industrial Zones (3,144 hectares) dotted about Morocco. The majority of which are to be found close to major cities and towns. 
  • Agricultural Areas: As mentioned previously, and as set out in the Plan Maroc Vert, 16 agricultural areas will benefit from investments projected up to 2020. 

Distribution Channels and Industry Events.

There are a number of distributors that handle water related products on the Moroccan market, be these water utilities, sanitation treatment, irrigating equipment.. and will undoubtedly be of great help for foreign businesses seeking to enter the market with their products or services. The principal distributors tend to meet at the Eau Expo & Forum ( and at Pollutec ( two fairs that are held annually in Casablanca.

International Team Consulting has had considerable experience as a consultancy in overseas markets and can help you to sell your products in the Moroccan market.

For further information, please contact:

Cristina Danon
Partner Consultant at International Team Consulting

(Source for the article: ICEX Marruecos)