Climate change impacts on the Water Highway project in Morocco
Author(s)El Moçayd, Nabil; Kang, Suchul; Eltahir, Elfatih A. B.
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The hydrology of Morocco is characterized by significant spatial variability. Precipitation follows a sharp gradient, decreasing from the north to the south. In order to redistribute the available water, a project has been proposed to transfer 860 × 106 m3 yr-1 from the wet north to the arid southern regions, namely the "Water Highway" project. The present study aims to address the viability of the project after accounting for the impacts of climate change in the watersheds located in the north. We perform regional climate model (RCM) simulations over the study region using boundary conditions from five different global circulation models (GCMs) and assuming two different emissions scenarios-RCP4.5 (with mitigation) and RCP8.5 (business as usual). The impact on precipitation and temperature are assessed, and the decrease in the available water quantity is estimated. Under RCP8.5, the project is likely not feasible. However, under the RCP4.5, a rescaled version of this project may be feasible depending on how much water is allocated to satisfy the local water demand in the north.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
El Moçayd, Nabil, Suchul Kang, and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. "Climate change impacts on the Water Highways project in Morocco." Hydrology and Earth System Science, 24, 3 (March 2020), 1467-1483. © The Author(s) 2020.
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