The year 2022 has been "the hottest" recorded in Morocco for four decades, a consequence of climate change, the national meteorology announced on Wednesday.
"The year 2022 is the hottest recorded in Morocco for 40 years, beyond the record set in 2020, exceeding the average temperature for the period 1981-2010 by 1.63 degrees", specified an official of the weather, on the occasion of the presentation of an annual report on the climate.
Morocco was hit hard in 2022 by its worst drought in decades, which fueled soaring food prices and record inflation.
Subjected for a long time to climatic variations, the Maghreb country suffered last year a very severe rainfall deficit (-27%) compared to the period 1981-2010.
Even more seriously, the annual agricultural season (September 2021-August 2022) recorded a rainfall deficit of around 46%.
And the outlook for 2023 is hardly positive. The filling rate of the dams peaked at the beginning of May at only 32.4%, even less than last year on the same date, according to the latest figures.
At a meeting on Tuesday, chaired by King Mohammed VI, the Minister of Equipment and Water Nizar Baraka presented a program with an envelope of 143 billion dirhams (13 billion euros) for accelerate the construction of new dams and desalination plants until 2027.
With only 600 cubic meters of water per inhabitant per year, Morocco is well below the water shortage threshold. For comparison, water availability was four times higher at 2,600 m3 in the 1960s.
Drought is expected to gradually increase in Morocco until 2050 under the effect of a drop in rainfall (-11%) and an increase in temperatures (+1.3°C), according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
It will lead to a "decrease in the availability of irrigation water by more than 25%", predicts a report from the ministry.