The term modernization refers to the 'upgrading' of irrigation systems through the introduction of new management arrangements and technologies that stimulate efficient water use. Modernization of irrigation is also often associated with a larger agricultural intensification discourse, with farmers becoming more competitive, a liberalization of markets and a reduction in subsidies. The recent introduction of drip irrigation in Morocco and more specifically in Ain Bittit illustrates the paradoxical situation that can emerge from modernization interventions: as different parties claim the yet-to-be saved water, it seems that rather than less water is used for irrigation. Morocco faces declining groundwater levels, negative water balances and half-full dams which figure prominently in the discourses of Ministry of Agriculture and water basin authorities to call for modernization of irrigated sector. Modernization projects such as canal lining and drip irrigation in Ain Bittit were initiated because of, or resulted in, a re-allocation of water. In addition, the modernization projects also resulted in increased water consumption.