Speech of His Excellency Dr. Abdelkader Amara, Minister af Energy, Mines, Water and Environnement (Kingdom of Morocco)

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1 Speech of His Excellency Dr. Abdelkader Amara, Minister af Energy, Mines, Water and Environnement (Kingdom of Morocco) 7th World Water Forum Daegu&Gyeongbuk (April 12-16, 2015) «Water-Energy-Food Nexus» Their Excellencies Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our host country, the Republic of Korea, for their warm hospitality and for their kind invitation, which give us a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with other global and regional stakeholders from different backgrounds, and with a special focus on the Water-Energy-Food interactions. Through you, may I convey my gratitude to the Korean Government for the excellent organization of this worldwide forum. Almost two billion people live in arid countries. One third of the global population will be most affected by water scarcity and climate change. The water situation in MENA region is already dire and most countries are water deficient; Moreover, it s the largest food importers

2 in the world with 44 percent of global net imports of cereals; and Apart from the oil net exporting countries, all other countries are net importers of energy, too. By 2030, the 9 billion inhabitants (with a majority in developing countries living in cities) will need 40 percent new water resources (1.7 trillion cubic meter), and the global demand for energy and food will increase, respectively, by at least 40 percent and 50 percent. Keeping in mind, the inadequacy of water & energy infrastructure, the land degradation (desertification), and the misuse of water resources in the extraction operations of unconventional oil and gas (where almost 70% remains underground and is withdrawn permanently from the hydrological cycle). This could diminish water availability in the long run and requires urgent action as rapidly growing economies intensify the demand for this precious resource. Such management challenges call for a nexus approach, where water, energy and food are extremely interlinked and interdependent. Another often forgotten crucial parameter is Climate Change. Climate change is one of the major challenges facing the region in the long term. It will severely affect the region, bringing significant warming and uncertainty about rainfall variability, which will makes the region very vulnerable to all kinds of shocks, in addition to its reliance on volatile global food markets. Yet climate change is typically seen as a distant threat, not an urgent priority, so it may not be taken into account in major long-term investments such as water harvesting, improved irrigation and new energy systems.

3 I think it s time to add a 4th (fourth) Pillar to our Water-Energy-Food Nexus which will become Water-Energy-Food-Climate Nexus.. Allow me to give you a short insight how we are dealing with such nexus in my country, the Kingdom of Morocco. Therefore, under the pressure of the increasing demand driven by population growth, urbanization and intensification of agricultural and industrial activities, the Moroccan Government began to recognize gradually the complexity of Energy-Water-Food interlinkages in the elaboration of its public policies for water management, energy production and food security. Regarding water resources management, and due to the succession of droughts and the digging of water deficit, estimated to 5 billion cubic meter by 2030, Morocco opt to move forward in his water management policy based on the concept of sustainable management. So, since the end of 60 s, Morocco has made a strategic decision, thanks to the King s Hassan II (second) Vision, to build a strong and long term securing water supply infrastructure through the construction, to date, over than 130 large dams and a large number of medium and small dams with a storage capacity of approximately 18 billion cubic meter, and with an universal access to safe drinking water in urban and rural areas respectively with an access of 100 percent and 94 percent. And as response to risks of probable power outages (blackout) due to delays in power generation investments that did not follow the galloping demand, Morocco has recently adopted a roadmap based on a realistic energy mix open to all possible sources of fossil fuels with an overarching objective of 15 GW by 2020 and where renewable

4 sources will represent 42 percent with three key parameters: affordability, carbon footprint, and universal access to electricity for 100 percent in urban areas and almost the same in rural areas. This is not an easy issue to handle with, as Morocco is considered as a net energy importer. In parallel, other areas are also developed in particular: energy efficiency with an estimated saving forecast of 12 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by So over the years and through the feedback experiences of the implementation of these two public policies in Morocco, we admitted the strong and complex interrelationships between water and energy, but also with food security. This latter dimension highlights the interdependencies between Water, Energy and Agriculture intensification. Thanks to the launch of the new Agricultural Plan (PMV), farmers are, more and more, at the center of our cross cutting public policy attention, which is focusing in its first pillar on higher yields, food supply chain management and lower production costs, but in the meantime, in its second pillar, gives a strategic importance to the socioeconomic development and ecological sustainability, which are crucial too for small farmers and for sustainable agriculture. The Kingdom of Morocco has actually approached the Water-Energy- Food Nexus in several ways and initiatives. Please allow me to illustrate with some examples, like : 1. The strategic institutional decision, at the higher level, of gathering energy, water & environmental policies management under the same umbrella, which I have the privilege to lead as a Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment ;

5 2. Another strategic institutional decision that was taken, were the merger, in a single entity, of the two public utilities in charge of water and electricity sectors ; 3. The development of an active coordination action with the Department of Agriculture through the generalization of drip irrigation, and solar water pumping with PV, which are having a sound impact on irrigation efficiency and water consumption ; 4. The promotion of less water intensive power generation technologies like the adopted CSP technology with air cooling system, and the launch of the national plan of recycling urban water with more than 30 new water treatment stations ; Last but not least, due to the important role of applied research and innovation as a key objective in any of our sectoral roadmaps, we have launched a national R&D platform (Moroccan Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies) dedicated to conduct and to promote inter-disciplinary research and training programs on clean power generation technologies (based on solar) coupled with water desalination, which are more adapted to the local environment with a high level of optimization. And this year, we are expecting to launch, thanks to the strategic cooperation of the Korean Government, an advanced infrastructure Green Energy Park, the first African platform dedicated to host R&D labs, professional training centers, pilot projects to offer handson training to our future engineers and PhDs dedicated to renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is to illustrate how we are aware of the fact that a robust scientific framework complemented by tools and consolidated databases can help researchers to understand the priorities and knowledge needs of policymakers.

6 In this context, a well-known Moroccan Think Tank OCP Policy Center organized last June in Rabat (Morocco), in partnership with the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, King s College London and Texas University, an international conference about The Water- Food-Energy Nexus in Drylands which has enjoyed a very high level of participation and an intense debate about the impacts of climate change and water scarcity and potential solutions in the fields of agriculture, water management, agro-business and energy. By addressing water and energy together, policymakers can identify crucial interactions, conflicting demands and potential synergies. The resulting solutions may serve both adaptation and mitigation, such as combining wastewater treatment and reuse with energy production from sludge. Or they may simply avoid negative impacts, as with carbon-neutral solar desalination. With further anticipated cost reductions, especially in the field of renewable energy, grid parity is not so much an issue anymore, but intermittency. For Morocco, the 42 percent target share of renewable energy is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve without storage solutions, and we hope strongly that with technological breakthroughs in storage solutions a real take off of renewables can be expected. More integrated grids could also be part of the puzzle and could provide base load electricity as the wind is always blowing and the sun is shining. For that purpose, Morocco is developing a 3rd submarine power connection line with Spain, which will enhance the total transmission capacity to MW between the two countries. Furthermore, Morocco has already developed a power connection with Algeria of MW, and is currently in negotiations with

7 Portugal as well as Mauritania for the implementation of the first power connection. This is what we mean by a nexus approach: cutting across sectoral boundaries and looking at the big picture to ensure a more climateresilient future. To Conclude, I want to emphasize that the policy-makers main concern, nowadays, is how they can achieve an efficient water resources management, and sustainable access for food & energy production. These challenges could only be addressed through holistic and harmonized strategies, and requires intellectual collaboration and decisive implementation of next-generation technologies. I would like to underscore that Morocco is ready to work closely, hand in hand, with its strategic partners to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on food security, water stress, environmental degradation, and the role of innovation to face the specific challenges in dry-lands and promote the private sector involvement for a sustainable and more efficient use of our water resources and land. At the end, allow me to thank again the Korean Government for its hospitality, wishing the highest success to our meeting.

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