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Sour grapes: multiple groundwater enclosures in Morocco's Saïss Region

Bossenbroek L., Kuper M., Zwarteveen M.. 2017. In : Venot Jean-Philippe (ed.), Kuper Marcel (ed.), Zwarteveen Margreet (ed.). Drip irrigation for agriculture: untold stories of efficiency, innovation and development. Abingdon : Routledge, p. 105-121. (Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management).

In the Saïss, Morocco, groundwater is a lever of agrarian transformations and is increasingly monopolized by new investors. We illustrate how groundwater is gradually enclosed, which happens through changes in tenure relations, the use of new technologies such as drip irrigation , as well as by the modernization discourse that underpins Morocco's agricultural policies . The groundwater enclosures are enacted by the gradual dissociation of groundwater from its socio-cultural and territorial context; growing social inequities; and violent expropriations. At the heart of the enclosure process a strange paradox emerges: whilst the Moroccan State has the ambition to create entrepreneurs, water is diverted from peasant families and flows to absentee "investors" who all produce the same products and face problems selling them.

Mots-clés : irrigation goutte à goutte; eau souterraine; eau d'irrigation; gestion des eaux; changement technologique; droit de l'eau; utilisation de l'eau; politique de l'eau; entrepreneur; agriculteur; structure agraire; maroc

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