FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2010
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357

U.S. OFFERS IMPROVED WATER RESOURCES TO PROTECT VULNERABLE FLOOD BASIN IN MOROCCO
USTDA Grant to Improve Water Resource Management in the Fragile Sebou Basin

RABAT, MOROCCO – As one of the most vulnerable basins to flooding in Morocco despite several major dams, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) affirmed its support for the improvement of the Sebou Basin's water resource management by awarding a grant today to the Secretariat of State in Charge of Water and Environment. The grant will assist the Secretariat in enhancing water quality monitoring and flood control networks, to improve overall efficiency in this fragile water catchment area particularly given the importance of regular irrigation for Morocco's agricultural sector.

The $497,253 grant was conferred in a signing ceremony today at the headquarters of the Secretariat of State in Charge of Water and Environment in Rabat by U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Samuel L. Kaplan. He said that the grant will provide key infrastructural upgrades to existing systems for water resource management and flood control in the Sebou Basin.

"The United States is pleased to provide this technical assistance grant, which will help ensure that Morocco is equipped with the necessary tools to optimize water resource management and promote sustainable development," said Ambassador Kaplan.

On behalf of Morocco, Secretary General Mustapha Geanah of the Secretariat of State in Charge of Water and Environment signed the grant agreement, which will help increase the functionality of the existing water monitoring system in the Sebou Basin.

Reinforcing the need for the project, Secretary General Geanah told Ambassador Kaplan, "The effective control of water resources is vitally important in Morocco, particularly in the agriculturally significant Sebou Basin area."

By implementing new technology to improve forecasting, strengthen alert systems, and increase water quality data collection and analysis, the grant will help promote economic growth and mitigate the effects of climate change on water resources. Additionally, the project is expected to serve as a template for improvements to other basin areas in Morocco.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted on USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. RAM will select a U.S. firm to provide the assistance associated with their respective grant.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

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