The paper presents a case study for the application of environmental tritium to assess the mean residence time of water in the Tafilalet aquifer. This aquifer corresponds geologically to a tectonic depression with Quaternary fill. The Tafilalet area depends mainly on agriculture and herding. Groundwater is the main source of water supply for domestic, agriculture, and herding purposes.
The data on the distribution of tritium in subsurface water indicate the modern water of the Tafilalet aquifer. The tritium transport modelling indicates that Quaternary alluvial waters are likely to have short mean residence times of a few years (14 to 32 years). The study addresses several difficulties concerning the detailed quantitative interpretations of the results, which must be the focus of future work.