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Table 1: Morocco’s transboundary groundwater aquifers. Sources: AGW-Net and International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre.
|Name||Countries sharing the aquifer||Population||Area (km2)|
|Ain Beni Mathar||Algeria/Morocco||23,100||18,315-20,000|
Morocco also shares with Algeria the Bounaim-Tafna basin, which is located in the north-east of Morocco and the north-west of Algeria and covers 2,650 km² (approximately 70% of which is in Morocco). It is formed by two aquifers (confined and unconfined), which represent a major asset in a region that has suffered economically and socially from the ongoing conflict between Morocco and Algeria over the Western Sahara. The basin’s water is used mainly for agriculture (80%), which delivers few economic returns. Water abstraction is uncontrolled and the resource is overexploited. The unconfined aquifer is heavily polluted by nitrate, and in some places untreated groundwater is used for drinking, risking adverse health impacts, especially to children (Map 1).