Graf, Katharina (2010). Drinking Water Supply in the Middle Drâa Valley, South Morocco. Options for Action in the Context of Water Scarcity and Institutional Constraints. Masters thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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In the light of global environmental change, aridity in the South of Morocco is expected to increase while water availability is projected to decrease. Human activities, especially irrigation agriculture, are further impacting on resource degradation. Though the government has attempted to respond to these challenges, the rural South remains poorly developed. Water institutions are created on national and regional level to improve drinking water supply in rural settlements, but seem unable to respond to the most pressing problems. The access to safe drinking water is not guaranteed and water management is ineffective. Katharina Graf, supervised by Professor Dr. Bernd Diekkrüger (Department of Geography, University of Bonn) and Professor Dr. Martin Rössler (Department of Ethnology, University of Cologne), studies the drinking water supply in rural southern Morocco and explores the local options for action against a background of institutional constraints and increasing water scarcity. In 1995 a new water policy was adopted to improve the access to safe drinking water in rural Morocco. Since then, household water management has been based on two water facilities: a conventional draw well and a domestic tap connection. Assuming a scenario of increased water usage, Katharina Graf compares two villages located in the arid Middle Drâa Valley to assess to what extent rural water withdrawal and management are influenced by the above mentioned global, national and regional trends. She looks at these factors and their inter-linkages through an actor-oriented approach to investigate the options local actors have in managing the scarce resource. Drawing on both New Institutionalism and the Natural Resource Management approach, she analyses rural patterns of drinking water management. The analysis suggests that water management is dysfunctional due to the prefabrication of water institutions outside of the village context, while the rising withdrawal is determined by a local adaptation to it. The latter process draws on existing informal institutions which fill the gaps left by formal ones, and together these institutions constitute a flexible but fragile water management solution. The options for local action subject to these constraints appear reduced and leave doubts on the ability of rural households to flexibly manage an ever scarcer water availability. Michael J. Casimir

Item Type: Thesis (Masters thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-41714
Series Name at the University of Cologne: Kölner ethnologische Beiträge
Volume: 34
Date: 2010
ISSN: 1611-4531
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Institut für Ethnologie
Subjects: Customs, etiquette, folklore
Geography and travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:
MA theses , Morocco , Water supply , Resource scarcity , Water management , Rural DevelopmentEnglish
Magisterarbeit , Marokko , Wasserversorgung , Ressourcenknappheit , Wassermanagement , Ländliche EntwicklungGerman
Date of oral exam: 2010
Refereed: Yes


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