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On the difficulty of managing an invisible resource: Farmers' strategies and perceptions of groundwater use, field evidence from Morocco

Bekkar Y., Kuper M., Errahj M., Faysse N., Gafsi M.. 2009. Irrigation and Drainage, 58 (3) : S252-S263.

In Morocco, many farmers rely on groundwater for irrigation. Extensive groundwater exploitation along with the recent droughts, have led to over-exploitation of this resource. We argue that state regulation is necessary but insufficient to manage groundwater. This article determines farmers' strategies in the exploitation of groundwater and explores the perceptions of farmers of the functioning of aquifers and the use of groundwater.We showed that farmers are rather pessimistic about the possibility of stopping over-exploitation of groundwater. However, farmers have a reasonable idea about the terms of the water balance, and were able in difficult groundwater situations to put in place defensive farmstrategies to manage water stress. In addition, they continue to confer legitimacy on the state for controlling groundwater exploitation, even though it does not in fact have the means to do so. These are encouraging signs for engaging local groundwater debates. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : eau souterraine; gestion des eaux; maroc

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion; Sociologie rurale et sécurité sociale

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