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Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems in the Souss-Massa River Region: An Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services

  • Abdelaziz HirichEmail author
  • Redouane Choukr-Allah
  • Abdessadek Nrhira
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 53)

Abstract

Groundwater plays an integral role in sustaining certain types of aquatic, terrestrial, and coastal ecosystems and associated landscapes, both in humid and arid climatic regions. It is thus a key factor in efforts to maintain the ecological integrity of some key ecosystems. In Chtouka Aït Baha region, all ecosystems including the agroecosystem, forest, wetlands, etc., are depending on groundwater for their continuity. Because of lack of reports valuing ecosystem services in the region and to raise the interest and importance of showing the economic value of ecosystems to policy and decision-makers, we have determined the total economic value (TEV) of Chtouka Aït Baha ecosystem focusing on the main ecosystem services having a direct impact on the socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural development of the region. A detailed description of existing ecosystems and their services is presented as well as determination of their economic value. It was shown that the agroecosystem contributes by more than 74% in the TEV of the whole ecosystem. This percentage shows the important development of the agricultural sector especially this region is the most productive region in Souss-Massa region as well as Morocco. The forest ecosystem who contributes by more than 13% in the TEV has more regulating services than provisioning services compared to agroecosystem where climate regulation, CO2 sequestration, and erosion control services contribute by more than 43% of the TEV of this ecosystem compared to agroecosystem where regulating services contribute only by 3% in the TEV of the ecosystem. Recreation and ecotourism represents about 6% in the TEV of the whole ecosystem of Chtouka Aït Baha region which reflects its importance in the ecological and socioeconomic development of the region. Groundwater or aquifer ecosystem contributes by 5%; however, it is the most important ecosystem on which the whole ecosystem is depending for its sustainability. Thus an integrated management of groundwater resources taking into consideration the links between groundwater and other ecosystems should be improved and implemented in water management strategies and policies.

Keywords

Climate regulation Ecotourism Forest Recreation Wetlands 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdelaziz Hirich
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Redouane Choukr-Allah
    • 1
  • Abdessadek Nrhira
    • 3
  1. 1.Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary MedicineAgadirMorocco
  2. 2.International Center for Biosaline AgricultureDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Souss-Massa-Drâa Hydraulic Basin AgencyAgadirMorocco

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