Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32731
Adaptation Measures for Sustainable Development of the Agricultural Potential of the Flood-Risk Zones of Ghareb Lowland, Morocco

Authors: R. Bourziza, W. El Khoumsi, I. Mghabbar, I. Rahou


The flood-risk zones called Merjas are lowlands that are flooded during the rainy season. Indeed, these depressed areas were reclaimed to dry them out in order to exploit their agricultural potential. Thus, farmers were able to start exploiting these drained lands. As the development of modern agriculture in Morocco progressed, farmers began to practice irrigated agriculture. In a context of vulnerability to floods and the need for optimal exploitation of the agricultural potential of the flood-risk zones, the question of how farmers are adapting to this context and the degree of exploitation of this potential arises. It is in these circumstances that this work was initiated, aiming at the characterization of irrigation practices in the flood-risk zones of the Ghareb lowland (Morocco). This characterization is based on two main axes: the characterization of irrigation techniques used, as well as the management of irrigation in these areas. In order to achieve our objective, two complementary approaches have been adopted; the first one is based on interviews with administrative agents and on farmer surveys, and the second one is based on field measurements of a few parameters, such as flow rate, pressure, uniformity coefficient of drippers and salinity. The results of this work led to conclude that the choice of the practiced crop (crop resistant to excess water in winter and vegetable crops during other seasons) and the availability and nature of water resources are the main criteria that determine the choice of the irrigation system. Even if irrigation management is imprecise, farmers are able to achieve agricultural yields that are comparable to those recorded in the entire irrigated perimeter. However, agricultural yields in these areas are still threatened by climate change, since these areas play the role of water retaining basins during floods by protecting the downstream areas, which can also damage the crops there instilled during the autumn. This work has also noted that the predominance of private pumping in flood-risk zones in the coastal zone creates a risk of marine intrusion, which risks endangering the groundwater table. Thus, this work enabled us to understand the functioning and the adaptation measures of these vulnerable zones for the sustainability of the Merjas and a better valorization of these marginalized lowlands.

Keywords: Flood-risk zones, irrigation practices, climate change, adaptation measures.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 314


[1] N. Ahmadi, B. Teme, “Aménagement et mise en valeur des bas-fonds au Mali : bilan et perspectives nationales, intérêt pour la zone de savane ouest-africaine. ” Actes du séminaire, Sikasso, Mali, Ier-Cirad-Cmdt. Montpellier, France, 1998, 498 pages. ISBN 978-2-7592-0646-9.
[2] Eaufrance, “Les zones humides”, 2015. (modifié le 22/09/2015 available: < >.
[3] C.M. Finlayson, N.C. Davidson, A.G. Spiers, N.J. Stevenson, “Global wetland inventory – current status and future priorities. Marine & Freshwater Research”, 1999, p 717-727.
[4] HCP, “Monographie de la Région du GHARB CHRARDA- BENI HSSEN (GCBH). Kenitra”, 2014, 111 p. (available:
[5] J. Keller, D. Karmeli, “Trickle irrigation desing parameters”. ASAE Transactions, 1974, 17(4): p 678-684.
[6] J. Le Coz, “Etude de géographie régionale. Rabat”, T.1. Les cadres de la nature et de l’histoire, 487 p, T.II. Une région géographique mouvante, 520p., 1964.
[7] Ministère des Richesses naturelles et des Forêts de l’Ontario, “Une stratégie de conservation des terres humides en Ontario 2017–2030”, Imprimeur de la Reine pour l’Ontario. Toronto (Ontario), 2017, 52 p.
[8] NEPAD and FAO, “Programme détaillé pour le développement de l’agriculture africaine Bénin: Profil de projet d’investissement « Programme d’aménagement et de mise en valeur de bas–fonds et de Petits périmètres irrigués (PPI) »”. Appui à la mise en œuvre du NEPAD–PDDAA. TCP/BEN/2906 (I) (NEPAD Ref. 05/13 F), Volume III de V, 2005, p 33.
[9] ORMVAG, “Problématiques des inondations de la plaine du Gharb”. Rapport technique. Kenitra : ORMVAG, 2013, 25 p.
[10] Ramsar, FAO, “International Water Management Institute (IWMI)”. Wetlands and agriculture: partners for growth. Gland, Switzerland: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Italie, Rome, 2014, 16 p.
[11] Ramsar, “Convention relative aux zones humides d'importance internationale particulièrement comme habitats des oiseaux d'eau”; Ramsar, Iran, 2 février 1971. (Available:
[12] D. Russi, P. ten Brink, A. Farmer, T. Badura, D. Coates, J. Förster, R. Kumar, N. Davidson, “The Economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB) for water and wetlands”. IEEP, London and Brussels; Ramsar Secretariat, 2013, 84 p.
[13] B. Aravind Kumar, “T.N.’s Ramsar bounty: Cruising on wetland wealth”. august 07, 2022. (