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Document Effects of rangeland changes on water balances and water quality in Morocco: A Rif moutains case study

Unsuitable changes in land use and improper rangeland resource management can have significant
impacts on hydrology, water quality, and other aspects of the environment. This was assessed and
confirmed for the Moroccan Rif mountains. This ecosystem is characterized by aggressive climate,
rough terrain and increasing human pressure on the forests and natural rangelands. Increased runoff, land erosion and average sediment yields exceeding 4000T/km2/y are today the symptoms of unsustainable agropastoral systems widely spreading in the Rif Mountains. A long term experimental watershed monitoring program and a GIS-based decision support system have been developed for the western part of the Rif mountains to examine the effects of agriculture encroachment and rangelands degradation on the hydrology and water quality. Results obtained confirmed the hypothesis of the hydrologic responses of the land degradation and provided simulation models needed for monitoring and evaluation. Many of the parameters and processes affecting watershed hydrology and water quality are dynamic and vary spatially. Thus, GIS and remote sensing have been integrated with models, large databases, and other information systems tools to create a decisionsupport system for proper watershed management.

Contact:Merzouk1 A., Alami1 M.M., Berkat1 O. and Sabir2 M.
1 Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, BP:6202-Instituts, Rabat, Morocco
2 Ecole Nationale Forestière d’Ingénieurs (ENFI), Tabriquet, Salé, Morocco

Creator Merzouk A. (email:
Publisher Merzouk A.
Type of document Newsletter
Rights Public
File link
Source of information MEDIAS
Keyword(s) watershed management, GIS and remote sensing
Geographical coverage Morocco