The Stream, September 23: Morocco Expands Water Resources by $27 Billion

A national plan to increase Morocco’s water resources by 5 billion cubic meters by 2030 will cost the country $US 27 billion, a price it is hoping to cover primarily with investments from the private sector, Bloomberg News reported. The investment is designed to maintain current per capita water availability as the country’s population grows, and includes projects such as desalination plants and irrigation upgrades.

Shifting weather patterns are expected to cause as much as a 20 percent decline in rainfall over Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, Inter Press Service reported. Fishermen on the lake are already noticing dramatic reductions in water levels in some areas, prompting shops to encroach on the new land.

Tanzania’s plan to spend $US 3.3 billion on water projects will increase access to clean water in cities to 95 percent from 68 percent, Bloomberg News reported, citing the Daily News newspaper. Projects will also tackle leaks in the country’s water distribution systems, reducing losses from 55 percent to 25 percent.

Zimbabwe needs to raise $US 39 million to complete work on its Tokwe-Mukosi dam project, which will generate hydropower from a reservoir holding 1.8 billion cubic meters of water when finished, Bloomberg News reported. A breach in the unfinished dam earlier this year prompted the evacuation of 4,400 families in the area.

United States
Federal rules that could protect an additional 8 million hectares of wetlands and more than 3 million kilometers of streams under the Clean Water Act are based on sound science, according to a review of the proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, Think Progress reported. The rules have faced stiff opposition from the agricultural industry and other groups.

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