Community-Based Water Management in the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. Analysing operational and strategic barriers: A case study in the Ounila Catchment
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This thesis analyses the formal and informal barriers faced by the Community-based Adaptation (CBA) programme implemented by the NGO PermaAtlas in the Ounila catchment, located on the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. Placed in one of the most water stressed regions in the world, the subsistence of rural communities in the study area strongly depends on effective and efficient management of water resources. Although researchers and policy makers have promoted Community-based programmes as a panacea to tackle water management issues, analysis of such programmes is limited and poorly demonstrated. With focus on the management of water resources, the barriers to the programme implementation were assessed through multi-criteria analysis using the Adaptative Capacity Framework. According to this analysis, cultural and community barriers, although strong at the beginning of the programme, have been partially overcome reaching now a fragile equilibrium. Currently, financial barriers are the main problem facing the expansion of the programme, as lack of sufficient funds could trigger latent disputes among different communities of the catchment. With this, the lack of adequate and complete monitoring also represents a major issue considering future infrastructure works and the increasing climate uncertainties of the region. Based on this evaluation, recommendations have been made to facilitate the dialogue among communities in order to reduce social unrest and to implement a reliable monitoring programme to quantify changes induced by the project.