Qatar to need 361mn gallons water per day by 2020: OBG
DOHA QATAR’S water consumption has risen from 83 million gallons per day in 2000 to more than 235 million gallons a day in 2012, and is forecast to reach 361 million gallons per day (GPD) by 2020, Oxford Business Group (OBG) has said in its latest report.
Qatar is one of the world’s driest countries, making water security a pressing issue. The country relies on desalination, a costly process involving capital-intensive plants and substantial energy inputs, for 99.9 percent of its water supply, according to international press reports, the report said.
With the rising demand, Qatar is expected to invest around QR70 billion ($19.21bn) on electricity and water utilities through 2021 to meet rising demand. Of this, QR30 billion ($8.23bn) would go to the power sector and QR22 billion ($6.04bn) to expanding the water system, Minister of Energy and Industry HE Mohammad bin Saleh al Sada, was quoted by OBG as saying.
Besides increasing desalination capacity, the investment will target a major water storage capacity expansion and a more efficient management of which waste reduction and recycling would be vital components, he said according to the report.
Arguing that GCC member states should work more closely together to develop water circulation technology, he said that since the countries face similar water supply challenges, pooling resources and improving research capacity would be beneficial.
However, he pointed out that the authorities are working to ensure that supply remains ahead of the demands which continue to grow with rising population and consumption.
The private sector looks set to play a leading role in the financing, construction and management of new utilities, as Qatar has been a regional leader in independent water and power projects (IWPPs), in which private firms take an ownership stake, the report said.
The region’s largest singlesite producer of power and water and one of the biggest in the world, Ras Girtas, a Qatari IWPP is an example, the report said. Private foreign investors own 40 percent of the consortium running the plant, with France’s GDF Suez having a 20 percent stake, Japan’s Mitsui and Chubu Electric Power Company having 10 percent each, and Yonden 5 percent.
The OBG report noted that Qatar is giving lot of attention towards utilities as its forms an important part of a wider infrastructure development drive currently underway, worth an estimated $100bn over the next five years. According to the OBG report, Kahramaa, has already approved 20 projects related to water and power.
“Transportation is another area on which the country is focusing its considerable resources to support longterm economic growth and ease pressure on the system from rising traffic volumes.
Road improvements, including bridges and tunnels, are an important part of the transportation plan, but it is big-ticket projects that have caught international attention,” the OBG report added.