Rabat – Marrakech will host the International Summit for Water Security on October 1-3. The Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water is hosting the event in collaboration with the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) and the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH).
More than 300 international decision-makers from 65 different countries, including 10 ministers of water, will take part in the summit. The participant list also includes heads of water management agencies and representatives from UN agencies, such as UN-Water, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and UNESCO.
The summit, held under the theme “For Participative and Innovative Basin Management,” has multiple activities in its agenda. While the first two days have workshops and discussion panels planned, the last day will be dedicated for technical and cultural study visits to the Menara gardens and to the Water Museum “Aman.”
The organizing committee of the international meeting picked Marrakech to host the event for different reasons. The “Ochre City” has one of the oldest water distribution and management plans in Morocco’s history. The city also hosted the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP 22), which dedicated a whole day for water, under the Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA).
INBO will also hold their 11th World General Assembly (WGA) on the sidelines of the summit. The international organization, established in 1994 in Paris, works for sound and balanced water resources management all over the world. It is a non-profit organization with 200 members in 70 countries and has seven regional networks. INBO holds a WGA once every three years.
The summit comes as water security is becoming a major issue affecting socio-economic development globally. Water resources are encountering increasing pressures related to economic activity, population growth, and urbanization.
Additionally, the intensity and frequency of extreme hydrometeorological phenomena are increasing due to climate change. Morocco’s southern regions have majorly suffered from heavy rains and floods this year, resulting in many deaths.
Morocco’s efforts to tackle the water issue are not recent. In 1967, the late King Hassan II launched a water management policy by building dams all around the country. Since King Mohammed VI’s ascendance to the throne, other water management policies were put in place, notably under the Green Morocco Plan that was launched in 2008.
“Our constant concern to improve the general social situation and to meet the economic challenges is matched only by our active commitment to preserving and enhancing the strategic resources of our country. In this respect, water plays a key role in the dynamics of development and the preservation of stability,” said King Mohammed VI during his speech for the 19th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.