(MENAFN - Morocco Business News) The World Bank (WB) has hailed Morocco's water and sanitation policy, expecting it to exceed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in this respect.
"Morocco has invested heavily in dams, water supply capacity and large-scale irrigation systems, to secure water for urban and agricultural demands," said the World Bank in a recent press release.
The country's spending on urban, peri-urban, and rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure programs increased from 5% to 25% between 2005 and 2009, it thus explained.
"As a result of the acceleration of rural water supply programs, including a USD 60 million IBRD-financed project, potable water access has risen to over 87% in 2009 from 50% in 2004," continued the bank's document.
Thanks to greater public spending on water supply and sanitation infrastructure, underlined the bank, "Morocco is now on track to exceed the targets for water and sanitation services contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)."
The financial institution stressed however that this strong supply focus was not accompanied by balancing policies aimed at sustainability.
"Morocco's water management strategies needed to adapt to meet a number of challenges: growing water deficits, persisting gaps in service access, slow changes in legislation, limited infrastructure programs, pressing demographic growth, and climate change."
As for the future, the World Bank said that it will assist Morocco in implementing further reforms and investment for climate change adaptation of water resources management, irrigation sector modernization, water supply and sanitation sector reorganization and regulation, and nationwide replication of peri-urban connection pilots.
Earlier this year, the WB had pledged to double its loans to Morocco from USD 300 to USD 600 million per year for the 2010-2013 period.
According to official sources, the move mainly aimed at supporting the country's efforts to reduce poverty and boost growth.