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CNDH Chairperson calls for raising awareness about managing water resources based on scarcity logic and not abundance

On Tuesday 7 February 2023, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) held a meeting at its headquarters in Rabat, Morocco, to present its memorandum on the right to water, entitled “The Right to Water: Approaches to Confronting Water Stress in Morocco,”. The CNDH developed this document as part of exercising its mandate as a National Human Rights Institution and pursuant to its strategic directions (2022-2024) based on the "effectiveness of human rights".

In her opening statement, Ms. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, called for the necessity of raising awareness about managing water resources based on scarcity logic and not abundance. She also stressed that water resources are not unlimited, nor are they permanent. They require us all to reconsider the way we use it.

Ms. Bouayach considered that the CNDH approach to the right to water issue is based on the international system principles and observations in questioning the government's urgent measures to confront the repercussions of water stress. It is also based on a vision that distinguishes the strategic options for long and medium terms from the urgent measures aiming to combat water stress.

CNDH Chairperson highlighted that Morocco is facing a multidimensional challenge that requires reconsidering its strategic choices.

Within this context, the CNDH calls for building a vision based on six interrelated elements so that Moroccan society may fight water stress and the increasing threat to the enjoyment of the right to water, which are:
-    Dealing with drought as a structural element rather than circumstantial;
-    Prioritizing food security and the protection of the right of future generations to water resources;
-    Reconsidering the growth model, which is based on the centralization of  the agricultural sector;
-    Enhancing attention to scientific research on climate and water issues;
-    Improving governance of the water sector;
-    Rationalization of domestic water consumption.

At the level of urgent measures, the CNDH memorandum called for the adoption of a public policy aiming to find immediate and urgent solutions such as:
-     Searching for alternatives to several crops consuming a lot of water;
-     Integrating the cost of water into the approved investment model;
-     Implementing the corporate social responsibility to protect water resources;
-     Building an updated database on water resources;
-     Combating water pollution;
-     Reducing overexploitation of the strategic groundwater reserve;
-     Expanding the adoption of "seawater desalination" techniques.

Mr. Mounir Bensalah, CNDH Secretar-General , moderated this event. Mr. Mohamed El Hachimi, CNDH Director of the Studies and Researches Directorate, and representatives of relevant sectors, associations and the media took part in this event.

This memorandum is the result of a public discussion amongst experts and officials from several government sectors at the first edition of the "Human Rights Agora" program, which was organized by the CNDH on 27 September 2022 at the Rabat-Driss Benzekri Institute for Human Rights, within the framework of a series of panel discussions on the effectiveness of human rights and freedoms issues.

Download Memorandum (Available in Arabic)