Our research focuses on Sustainable Water Management and Agricultural Practices in the Face of Climate Change in two Mediterranean areas: the South-East of France (Vésubie valley) and an arid region of South of Morocco and more precisely the valley of Amizmiz located in the small and medium hydraulic of the Haouz of Marrakech. The social history of mountain communities of the Nice hinterland and those of the Central High Atlas of Morocco is marked by a very old hydraulic heritage.
For centuries, communities have been mobilized for the establishment of hydraulic infrastructures, through the establishment of social rules and practices considered reliable and adapted to the constraints of the natural environment. In the new configurations of climate change and overexploitation of natural resources and to meet the agri-food needs of a growing population, water, its management, and its appropriation remains a strategic issue for state and community actors. Faced with the failure of the first water policies and the degradation of the environment, the realization of technical adjustments is hardly enough to ensure the sustainability of a “physical” and “social” system (Ostrom, 1992) which has been largely managed by local institutions little known by the public services.
The plains have experienced intensive State intervention in hydro-agricultural development, planning new rules for sharing and distributing the resource, rules often ill-suited to the complexity of micro- local contexts. The limits experienced by public policies have led to the imagining of other management methods by promoting the local scale as a vector of sustainable development.
Keywords: Water, Irrigation, Environment, Climate change, Heritage, Power, Mediterranean, Governance, State, Local communities, Amizmiz Valley, Nice hinterland
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