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Strategic planning, impact assessment, and technical aid: The Souss-Massa Integrated Water Management project


Strategic planning, impact assessment, and technical aid: The Souss-Massa Integrated Water Management project



Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 6(2): 245-259



ISSN/ISBN: 1464-3332

DOI: 10.1142/s1464333204001699

Government agencies, like individuals, can "lose sight" of the impacts of their policies on natural and social systems. Environmental impact analysis (EIA), strategic environmental analysis (SEA), and strategic planning are all aspects of analyzing and projecting the impacts of various management decisions on the public and on natural systems. Integrated river-basin management is another aspect of this type of planning. Integrated management requires several basic conditions. Among these are clear communications among all the actors involved in managing the basin's water resources, one or more sets of data which are shared by all decision-makers, and tools by which the decision-makers can evaluate policies (impact assessment). In the Souss Massa River Basin in Morocco, the result of un-coordinated policies for economic development has led to declining water tables as well as potentially damaging surface and groundwater pollution. The Government of Morocco (GOM), recognizing the need for coordinated and integrated water management, passed a law creating new River Basin Agencies. Aiding those agencies and their partners in developing integrated management is the objective of the USAID-sponsored Souss-Massa Integrated Water Management (SIWM) project. The project activities have been designed to develop and support communications, data sharing and model building within the institutions in the Souss-Massa Basin as a demonstration for all Moroccan river basins but space and time constraints require a more pointed discussion. The focus of this paper is on capacity building for strategic planning and integrated management being undertaken and, to the extent possible, some of the lessons learned.

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