Open Science Research Excellence
%0 Journal Article
%A W. EL Khoumsi and  A. Hammani and  M. Kuper and  A. Bouaziz
%D 2014 
%J  International Journal of Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering
%B World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
%I International Science Index 95, 2014
%T Deterioration of Groundwater in Arid Environments: What Impact in Oasis Dynamics? Case Study of Tafilalet, Morocco
%V 95
%X Oases are complex and fragile agro-ecosystems. They
have always existed in environments characterized by an arid climate,
scarcity of rainfall, high temperatures and high evaporation. These
palms have grown up despite the severity of the physical
characteristics thanks to the water's existence and irrigation practice.
The oases are generally spread along non-perennial rivers (wadis),
shallow water table or deep artesian groundwater. However, the
sustainability of oasis system is threatened by water scarcity and
declining of water table levels particularly in arid areas. Located in
the southern east area of Morocco, Tafilalet plain encompasses one of
the largest palm groves in the kingdom. In recent years, this area has
become increasingly threatened by water shortage and has seen a
sharp deterioration under the effect of several combined
anthropogenic and climatic factors. The Bayoud disease, successive
years of drought, Hassan Addakhil dam construction etc are all
factors that have affected both water and phoenicicole heritage of the
area. The objective of this study is to understand the interaction
between qualitative and quantitative degradation of groundwater
resources, and the palm grove dynamics, while reviewing the
assumption that groundwater resources contribute in a direct way to
the conservation of this oasis agroecosystem. A historical analysis
tracing both the oasis dynamics and the groundwater evolution has
been established. Data were collected from satellite images, surveys
with different actors (farmers, Regional Office for Agricultural
Development, Basin agency...). They were complemented by a
synthesis of numerous technical reports in the area. The results
showed that within 40 years, the thickness of the groundwater table
has dropped in 50 %. Along with this, there has been a downsizing of
date palm by 50 %. Areas with higher groundwater level were the
least affected by the downsizing. So we can say that the shallow
groundwater contribute significantly and directly to the water supply
of date palm through its root system, and largely ensures the oasis
ecosystem sustainability.

%P 764 - 770