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Water institutional reforms in Morocco

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Using a teleological perspective and an analytical categorization of the history of water institutions in Morocco, this paper aims to review and evaluate the institutional reforms in the country in the light of the results and hypotheses presented in some recent literature on the subject. The review suggests that considering their overall thrust and direction, the institutional reforms undertaken in Morocco are truly remarkable. While these reforms have paved a solid institutional foundation for promoting an economically responsive water sector, there are still serious reform gaps, especially in areas such as groundwater regulation and supportive institutions for irrigated agriculture. The evaluation of the reform process suggests that Morocco has exploited well the political contexts of resource limit and economic crisis, path dependent opportunities provided by existing institutions and earlier reforms, and the synergetic influences of the countrywide economic reforms and changing political conditions. Clearly, the reform experience of Morocco indicates that although undertaking initial reform can be difficult, subsequent reforms are relatively easier when the political opportunities for reforms provided by both endogenous and exogenous factors are well exploited.

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