At the foot of the High Atlas mountain chain in Morocco the Ouarzazate semi-desert region is drying out. Morocco is among the world’s most water-stressed countries. At 600 cubic metres (21,200 cubic feet) of water annually per capita per year, the country is already well below the water scarcity threshold of 1,700 cubic metres (60,000 cubic feet), according to the World Health Organization.
As in the rest of North Africa, global warming is already showing its effects and badly affecting agriculture. In the context of drought, Moroccan farmers point the finger at the mismanagement of remaining water resources, which have been diverted from their natural course to be set aside for expanding industries.
Three industries in southeastern Morocco consume the most water: mining companies, agricultural monocultures, and the world’s largest solar power plant, Noor, generating thermal energy through an evaporation process.