The monitoring (piezometric control) of the shallow aquifer in Marrakech and its area shows that the water-table lowered gradually during the 40 last years, with a strong accelerated decline (massive drop) in the water level from the early 2000s. This declining trend -if confirmed in the future- may lead to a water shortage, or even total aquifer depletion, which would be devastating for a region where economic activity and drinking water supply is partly based on groundwater resources.
Two factors account for this situation:
- The hot semi-arid climate of the region characterized by high temperatures and low precipitations. This is causing an inadequate groundwater recharge (deficit between rainwater supply and the potential evapotranspiration).
- The over-pumping of groundwater from wells for intensive agricultural uses and some leisure activity (golfs, waterparks and pools for example).
The objective of this study is to assess the impact of human activity on groundwater availability in this context of semi-arid climate and intense use conditions.
Based on earlier research studies and hydrological data recently collected from the field, a spatiotemporal analysis using a geographic information system has been conducted allowing to monitor the evolution of groundwater resources under the impact of intense uses. The areas most affected by the drawdown of the water-table have been highlighted.