Gzenaya, an industrial zone on the border of the Free Zone of Tangier. Coordinates: 35.716954, -5.932413.

Time period :


Implementing Institution/ Organization:

The Ministry of the Interior, the Water Authority and the Northern Development Agency (APDN)/ Amendis

Funded by :

Municipality of Tangier/Ministry of Interior/Water Authority/Basin River Agency (ABH)/ Agency for the Promotion and Economic and Social Development of the Northern Prefectures of the Kingdom (APDN)/ Regional Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima TangierTetouan-Al Hoceima


1) Implement efficiency in terms of the quality of the treatment and distribution works.
2) Meet Collection, treatment and pollution remediation targets.
3) Finalize and scale up the required level of treatment and set up the distribution network that transports the treated wastewater to the reuse sites.
4) Achieve scalability and sustainability for the project

Methodology (approach)

1) Review of technical documents.
2) Interviews with institutional heads from the national water authority (Jaouher Touria and Houda Bilrha from the Water Department; Abdelhamid Benabdelfadel from the ABH).
3) Interviews with managers at the Boukhalef Wastewater Treatment Plant and Water Reuse project (Thomas Fer, Water & Sanitation Director and Imane El Hatimi, Coordinator of Plural Performance and Digital Transformation, Amendis – the water and electricity operator for northern regions of Morocco).

Study Results

The Boukhalef Wastewater Treatment Plant (Boukhalef WWTP) was constructed to increase capacity in wastewater treatment and to provide irrigation water for green spaces in Tangier city. Operational since 2015, the plant was designed in the face of increasing deficits in water reserves at the Ibn Battouta Dam, which serves residents of the cities of Tangier and Assilah with drinking water. Treated wastewater can provide an additional water resource, particularly for irrigation purposes. This subsequently reduces pressure on conventional water resources. According to Amendis, this project will save nearly 3 million m3 /year of water and improve the health and living environment of residents, and bring additional benefits for promoting tourism, for example, through the investment and development of green landscaped areas and golf courses around the city. The Boukhalef WWTP covers a total area of 4.3 ha and is located in Gzenaya, an industrial zone on the border of the Free Zone of Tangier (Figure 2.1). Before the construction of the Boukhalef WWTP, wastewater from Tangier city was discharged directly into the Mediterranean Sea after collection. Since 2015, when the plant became operational, domestic wastewater from the Rabat Road area, Boukhalef South, Gezenaya center, and the domestic and industrial effluents of Gezenaya and the Tangier Free Zone is treated there and then reused in irrigation projects. The Boukhalef WWTP started operations in 2015 and has a capacity of 10,700 m3 /day. This capacity is anticipated to increase, after current expansion works, to 42,700 m3 /day. The plant uses an activated sludge treatment system and treats the water to a tertiary level (Figure 2.2). The recycled water it produces is used to irrigate golf courses and municipal green spaces. The project has been carried out in three phases: The first phase started in 2015 with the commissioning of the Boukhalef WWTP, the laying of an 8 km distribution network and the installation of a 120 liters per second (L/s) pumping station to irrigate an area of 110 ha of green spaces at the Qatari Diar Golf Course. The second phase, which started in 2019, saw the expansion of the reuse network toward the center of Tangier to irrigate municipal green spaces and the Tangier Golf Royal. In addition, two storage tanks with a total capacity of 6,000 m3 and a capacity discharge station at 120 L/s were constructed. A second tertiary treatment plant was also established, and 21.5 km of distribution network laid. The target of this phase was the irrigation of 141 ha. To date, 115 ha, including 70 ha for the Royal Golf Tangier, located in the Municipalities of Tangier and Gzenaya, are irrigated with recycled water from the plant. The third phase, which is in progress, will increase the capacity of the Boukhalef WWTP to 42,700 m3 /d and expand the irrigation area to 150 additional hectares across the rest of the city. Construction work for this expansion is in the final phase and a study to extend the transport and distribution network is almost complete. Currently, the reuse system has not generated much employment in the long term although Amendis consider it likely this will change. In terms of the design and implementation of the wastewater treatment plant and reuse system, jobs have been created for companies engaged in construction work, but Amendis are not able to provide data on this. In terms of tourism, the city of Tangier is one of the cities most frequented by recreational and seaside tourists in Morocco. Wastewater treatment and reuse of the recycled water makes it possible to improve the attractiveness of the city through the expansion of green spaces and at the golf courses that benefit from the project. The collection and processing of wastewater has greatly improved the local environment compared to the pre-project situation and reuse is having a very positive impact in terms of reducing groundwater and other water uses, saving 3 million m3 /year.


Competence and professionalism of Amendis. Financial contributions from partners in the reuse project as a whole. Funding under the National Shared Sanitation Plan. Financial solvency of wastewater reuse. Strong mobilization of actors at the regional level. An innovative project in the Mediterranean region. Strong support of Tangier Municipality for green spaces in the city and tourist locations

Unclear responsibility for the quality of treated wastewater within golf courses. The total area of green spaces has risen to 283 ha, which is disproportionate in its distribution at the district level. Despite best efforts, a good number of gardens and green spaces within certain districts remain very poorly maintained. Lack of awareness and respect for green spaces by citizens resulting in a low level of cleanliness. Lack of staff to maintain green landscapes.

Objectives to promote reuse in policies, plans and programs. Water scarcity due to climate change makes a great opportunity for the fast deployment of water reuse in North Morocco.

Risk of financial non-viability of the project. The reluctance of golf course developers and users of conventional water because the conventional water is cheap or free.

Lessons learned

The project has proved its viability and importance in its past achievements that has been accomplished which will also continue as the project continues to expand. This creates a model that can be easily applied and even cost even less money allowing us adapting it to different societies with the similar environment.

References (resources) Found is the case study

AFD-Ministère de l’Intérieur: Assistance technique à la Direction des Réseaux Public Locaux du Ministère de l’Intérieur, pour la mise en œuvre du Programme d’Appui Institutionnel au Secteur de l’Assainissement au Maroc (PAISAM), dans le cadre d’une subvention de la FIV d’un montant de deux millions d’euros en gestion déléguée à l’AFD a été octroyée pour le financement dudit PAISAM .

Amendis. 2019. AMENDIS MAG March 2019, Issue 5. Morocco. Amendis. sites/g/files/dvc3316/files/document/2019/04/MG_Ndeg5_Mars_2019_VF.pdf

 Amendis. 2021. Étude d’extension du système de réutilisation des eaux traitées de la STEP Boukhalef pour arroser les espaces verts de la ville de Tanger. Étude d’Avant – Projet – Sommaire.

CESE (Conseil Economique Social et Environnemental). 2014. Gouvernance par la gestion intégrée des ressources en eau au Maroc: levier fondamental de développement durable. CESE.

Cherif, E.; Salmoun, F. 2018. Diagnostic of the environmental situation of the west coast of Tangier. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science 9: 631–640. jmes.2018.9.2.70

Faȉssal, N. 2019. Réutilisation des eaux usées à Tanger: La station d’épuration Boukhalef donnée en exemple. Aujourd’hui le Maroc. April 25 2019. Available at (accessed on June 27, 2022).

Laghzaoui, F.; Ferehoun, S. 2018. Issues and challenges of environmental management of local authorities in Morocco: The case of the city of Tangier. International Journal of Advanced Engineering and Management Research 3(6).

Maquet, C. 2020. Wastewater reuse: a solution with a future. Field Actions Science Reports Special Issue 22: 64–69. (includes appendix on Wastewater for city watering: an innovative partnership between the city of Tangier and Amendis (Veolia). Interview with Driss Riffi Temsamani, VicePresident of Tangier municipality).

Soudi, B. 2012. Pour BEI_SAFEGE-ONEP. Évaluation Environnementale Stratégique ONEP - Programme Assainissement.

World Bank. 2017. Gestion de la Rareté de l’Eau en Milieu Urbain au Maroc. Washington: World Bank. Available at mary-report.pdf (accessed on June 27, 2022).

Ziyad, A. 2021. River basin master plans: planning and water management tools to identify hydraulic projects. Paper presented at AFRICA 2017: Water storage and hydropower development for Africa, March 14–16, 2017, Marrakech, Morocco.


ABH : River Basin Agency
APDN : Northern Development Agency
PNE : National Water Plan
RADEEMA : Water and Electricity Distribution Authority of Marrakech