Community-Based Water Management: The Oasis of Figuig, Morocco Recent Extensions and Transformations
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 1, Issue 5, October 2013, Pages: 213-229
Published: Oct. 30, 2013
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Author
Hasnaa El Jamali, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
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Abstract
Water is a prerequisite to mankind’s life on earth; water management and governance constitute a primacy for policy makers. Discourses and theories of the Integrated Water Resources Management approach (IWRM) and Common-Pool Resources (CPR) have been embraced in water management models. However, these discourses reveal shortcomings as they foster equilibrium models for water management. Past policies of water management have failed to offer effective water management. New vision for water management upholds an Integrated Management Approach embracing economic, environmental, societal, and participatory aspects. Groundwater has been a vital element in arid and semi-arid areas. Today, more and more overexploitation of groundwater resource is witnessed in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), where increased population, climate hazards, and increased land users render the depletion of the resource a serious issue. Today the allocation of groundwater is torn between collective, i.e. community management, and private initiatives through the adoption of private wells. Suchsituations results in increased overexploitation of the resource and a race over pumping technology. The research is based on fieldwork conducted in 2011, in the Oasis of Figuig, Southeast of Morocco. Diverse methodological techniques were used including: direct observations, semi-structure interviews with 30 farmers, focus group with the participation of 13 farmers, and an oral history. The Oasis of Figuig, an intrinsic case for water management, is shaped by two water management models: community management inside the oasis and private initiatives established outside opting for new technologies. One of the research objectives is to examine community management and to illustrate the conditions under which people collectively manage the commons and the reasons behind peoples’ free-riding. The study reveals that both community and private models of water management are relevant, complementary, and possibly reinforce each other. The case for “the death of the oasis” is not vindicated by current facts. The present research concludes to the enduring validity and viability of oases as they undergo renewal. Securing their long evolution, however, requires efficient and effective water management. These should focus on correcting the inequalities within community management and effectively monitoring free-riding.
Keywords
Community, Water Management, Oasis, Common-Pool Resources, IWRM, Free-Riding, Morocco
To cite this article
Hasnaa El Jamali, Community-Based Water Management: The Oasis of Figuig, Morocco Recent Extensions and Transformations, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 1, No. 5, 2013, pp. 213-229. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20130105.17
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