Abstract

Located in the mid-west of Morocco, the Tensift watershed shelters the Takerkoust dam, which provides a part of the water used for irrigation of the N'fis agricultural area, which is an important irrigated area of the Tensift watershed. This study deals with the impact of droughts on water inflows to the Takerkoust dam and how the water shortage caused by droughts affects agricultural production in the N'Fis area. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) was used to illustrate the temporal evolution of drought periods. The trend observed on data showed that the Tensift watershed experienced a succession of droughts and humid periods of varying intensities. Periods of drought have negatively affected water inflows to the Takerkoust dam, and therefore the amount of water allocated to agricultural irrigation. Years that experienced droughts showed a restriction of more than 50% of water volume planned for irrigation. During periods of water scarcity, farmers reduce or completely avoid irrigation of annual crops to save water for irrigation of perennial crops. The water shortage for irrigation has led in some cases to a drop of up to 100% of the surface allocated to the production of annual crops.

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