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Aghbalou - The Source of Water    cover photo

Aghbalou - The Source of Water 2013


Distributed by Distributed by The Video Project, 145 - 9th St., Suite 102, San Francisco, CA 94103; 800-475-2638
Produced by Produced by Anna Sowa
Directed by Directed by Remigiusz Sowa
DVD, color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 11/30/2016

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Irina Stanishevskaya, University of Alabama at Birmingham Libraries

Aghbalou - The Source of Water starts with a self-evident postulate regarding the value of water to life on earth: “Water is embedded in everything. It flows through everything in life. It shapes every particle of our world, invisibly embedded in everything humanity has ever made. It is our most precious resource. And without it, there would be nothing.” This axiom inspires the filmmakers to travel to the driest region on earth—Todgha Valley in Southern Morocco to investigate how limited water resources affect the life of local farmers and their families. The natural water supplier in the region, a small river oasis, faces the groundwater-level changes due to natural phenomena as well as human activities. Water scarcity negatively influences socio-economic developments and makes the daily lives of local farmers very difficult. To access groundwater, they use not only labor intensive traditional methods such as underground channels system (khettars), but also experiment with new practices, for instance, a drip irrigation method with solar powered water pumps. However, new practices have many limitations: high installation and maintenance cost, short lifespan of plastic tubes, and expensive to replace.

The filmmakers foster a necessary conversation related to the water and food insecurity in rural communities and deterioration of water quality. They also accentuate attention to the national and international strategies for reducing water demand, increasing water supplies, and improving domestic and virtual water trade balance throughout the interviews with many experts such as: Dr. Tony Allan, King’s College, Dr. Thierry Ruf, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Dr. Mhamaed Mahdane, University of Agadir, Lewis Temple, International Development Enterprises, and M’hamed Aboualla, Association Afanour Pour Le Development. Aghbalou is a useful resource to support classroom instruction and make a beneficial contribution to public education. It is suitable for public, academic, and high school library collections.


  • Winner, Social Justice Category, UKCFF, London, 2015