Casablanca Water Privatization, Morocco

Since the mid-1980s , Morocco’s economic and political decision-makers have pushed for the liberalisation, privatisation and the lowering of the trade barriers agenda that has been prevalent in the country since 1983. Most public companies were sold.


Since the early 1980s, and under the constraints imposed by the structural adjustment programs, Morocco has launched a wide process of economic liberalization, privatization, deregulation and fiscal austerity. If the privatization policy adopted by Morocco has concerned first the transfer of public assets to the private sector, it also took ‘softer’ guises through the commercialization of public services and transfer of their management to the private sector, including private/public partnerships. These operations focused particularly on local public services such as urban public transport, water and electricity supply, sanitation, waste management etc [1].

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Basic Data
NameCasablanca Water Privatization, Morocco
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsA consortium led by Lyonnaise des Eaux (now SUEZ), was awarded the 30-year concession without a competitive tender. Lyonnaise des Eaux thus returned to a city where it had already provided services for almost half a century. The consortium was called Lydec and originally included Lyonnaise des Eaux (35%), Elyo (24%), Agbar (5%), EdF (18%) and Endesa (Spain) (18%). The contract was signed on April 28, 1997, between Jérôme Monod, CEO of Lyonnaise des Eaux, and Abdelmoughit Slimani, President of the Council of Greater Casablanca (Communauté Urbaine de Casablanca)
Project Area (in hectares)38,400
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date28/04/1997
Company Names or State EnterprisesRégie Autonome Intercommunale de Distribution d'Eau et d'Electricité de Casablanca (RAIEEDC) from Morocco - Management of water distribution in Casablanca
Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona (SGAB) from Spain - Part of the Lydec consortium
Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux (Suez) from France - Part of the Lydec consortium
Electricité de France International (EDF) from France - Part of the Lydec consortium
Endesa (Endesa) from Spain - Part of the Lydec Consortium
Fipar Holding (Fipar) from Morocco - Shareholder of Lydec after the cession of shares by Suez partners in favour of Moroccan groups
Royale Maroccaine d'Assurance - Watanya (RMA) from Morocco - Shareholder of Lydec after the cession of shares by Suez partners in favour of Moroccan groups
Caisse de dépôt et de gestion (CDG) from Morocco
Relevant government actorsCour des comptes de Casablanca

Council of Greater Casablanca - Communauté Urbaine de Casablanca
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMoroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH)

L’Association pour la Taxation des Transactions et pour l’action citoyenne au Maroc (ATTAC Maroc) -
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Civil Society
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Refusal to pay invoices, Sit-ins
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of AlternativesDecrease in prices

Democratization of decision making and water management

Public management of water services

Accountability and Transparency
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.A recent report by the Cour des Comptes de Casablanca denounces the financial manipulation of Suez Environnement. The magistrates of the Court refer to suspicious financial transactions for the benefit of parent companies, a biased system in favor of the provider, as well as numerous breaches by Lydec in relation to its contractual commitments [4].
Sources and Materials

[3] - Les firmes concessionnaires de service public au Maroc : Eau potable, assainissement et transports collectifs - Claude de Miras and Xavier Godard (2006)
[click to view]

[1] - Water Privatization Dynamics in Morocco: A Critical Assessment of the Casablancan Case - Mohamed Said Saadi (2013)
[click to view]


TNI - Water privatisation in Morocco

06 June 2008
[click to view]

[2] - No smooth course for private water - Middle-East Business Intelligence - 7 March, 1997
[click to view]

[4] - Eau et électricité : la Cour des comptes de Casablanca dénonce les manipulations financières de Suez environnement - 2014
[click to view]

Other Documents

Lydec Get Out By Nadir Bouhmouch
[click to view]

Lydec Get Out 2 By Nadir Bouhmouch
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorChristophe Maroun - ICTA
Last update04/09/2017