Why are we working on the Mediterranean basin?
The arid and semi-arid regions of the Mediterranean basin correspond to geographical surfaces with strong demographic growth. They are of great importance because of their great brittleness and of the scarcity of the water resources available. The growth and the transformation of the needs of the populations intensify the impact of the activities of the man on his medium and can generate phenomena which degrade the environment, which can be amplified by the climatic changes, and their feedbacks can be global or regional.
The experience gained by the researchers of the CESBIO in the field of the ecological monitoring of the arid regions and the follow-up of the cycle of water by satellite and in particular in the Mediterranean, resulted in developing research partnerships in this area.
The principal site of the project is the Tensift "oued"watershed located in the town of Marrakech, Morocco. It is bordered to the south by the solid mass of the Atlas mountains which culminate at altitudes of more than 4000 meters. The snow feeds a series of "oueds"which reloads the principal water table and provides a great part of the irrigated water used in plain. This study site in Morocco presents typical lrisks of nondurable use of the water resources, worsened by repeated drynesses, that is fequent in the southern Mediterrannean.
|Location of the Tensift basin,(to the left) : crop zones and pastures on the Haouz plain near Marrakech.|
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