Morocco - Environment Photo by: Pollution of Morocco's water and land resources is due to the dumping of industrial wastes into the ocean, the country's inland water sources, and the soil. Water supplies have also been contaminated by the dumping of raw sewage and coastal waters have been polluted by oil. The nation has about 30 cu km of renewable water resources.
Morocco is slightly larger in area than California, and its territory has three different regions. The northern coast along the Mediterranean Sea is made up of fertile land that rises to elevations of about 8, feet 2, meters.
The Atlas Mountains run between the Atlantic coast in the southwest to the Mediterranean Sea in the northeast. Finally, the semiarid area in the south and east known as the Western Sahara connects Morocco with the vast African Sahara Desert.
Morocco faces a problem with desertification. Desertification is the process where fertile land becomes barren and desert-like. Desertification may be caused by forces of nature, such as lack of rainfall or drought. Humans contribute to desertification when they clear away all the trees or allow their livestock to graze too much so that they eat away all plants.
These practices leave no plants to hold the soil in place, so wind and rain can carry away the fertile topsoil. Morocco also has a problem with water pollution from oil spills, poor sewage treatment practices, and the use of strong pesticides.
In the northwest, agriculture in Morocco thrives. Except in years when there is severe drought, Moroccan farmers are able to supply the country with enough food. They used local ingredients, such as olives, figs, and dates, to prepare lamb and poultry stews.
Over time, traders and conquering nations introduced new food customs. Among them were the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans. However, the strongest influence on native cooking was the Arab invasion in the seventh century A.
The Arabs brought with them new breads and other foods made from grains. They introduced spices including cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cumin, and caraway. They also introduced sweet-and-sour cooking, which they had learned from the Persians. Moors from Andalusia in southern Spain also influenced Moroccan cooking.
The pastilla, or bisteeya, a popular pigeon pie in Morocco, was originally a Moorish dish. In modern times, the French and the British made contributions to Moroccan cuisine. Its many home-grown fruits and vegetables include oranges, melons, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, and potatoes.
Five more native products that are especially important in Moroccan cooking are lemons, olives, figs, dates, and almonds. Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the country is rich in fish and seafood.
Beef is not plentiful, so meals are usually built around lamb or poultry. Flat, round Moroccan bread is eaten at every meal. The Moroccan national dish is the tajine, a lamb or poultry stew.
Other common ingredients may include almonds, hard-boiled eggs, prunes, lemons, tomatoes, and other vegetables. The tajine, like other Moroccan dishes, is known for its distinctive flavoring, which comes from spices including saffron, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and ground red pepper.
The tajine's name is taken from the distinctive earthenware dish with a cone-shaped top in which it is cooked and served. Another Moroccan dietary staple is couscous, made from fine grains of a wheat product called semolina.
It is served many different ways, with vegetables, meat, or seafood. Sweets play a very important role in the Moroccan diet.Morocco is a water-scarce country confronted with dwindling groundwater reserves and a strong dependence on rain-fed agriculture.
Only 15 percent of total agricultural land is irrigated, resulting in inefficient water use and management.
Many rural communities rely on a single water source to sustain families and livelihoods. One of Morocco’s major resources is its land: Morocco is a major producer of food.
In , food production had increased by 27 percent over the average in , but Morocco is a hard country to farm, and in arable land (land under temporary crops, and land under market or kitchen gardens) made up only 18 percent of the total land. According to this definition, Morocco has experienced drought for about 10 of the past 25 years, including the year just before data for this study were collected.
See Annex 2 for cereal production figures from Moving out of Poverty in Morocco v. Periodic drought is a key feature of Moroccan agriculture, and given that 90% of agricultural land is not irrigated, it poses the single greatest hazard (Skees, ; Swearingen and Bencherifa, ).
“The climates in Southwest Morocco and California are somewhat similar, and there is a possibility to use the fog making technology in California but on a smaller scale," says Daniel Swain UCLA Climate Scientist and author of Weather West, the California Weather Blog.
Wheat is a staple in North Africa, and in Morocco, according to the magazine. The average Moroccan consumes more than pounds of wheat every year, one of the highest per capita rates in the world. The country irrigates only about 10 percent of its land, leaving it susceptible to Mother Nature’s whims.