Water Security and Desalination in the GCC Countries. Dr. Muhammad F. Al Rashed Executive Director Water Research Center

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1 Water Security and Desalination in the GCC Countries Dr. Muhammad F. Al Rashed Executive Director Water Research Center

2 Contents Sources of Water At the GCC, Water Security, Water Security of the GCC, Factors of GCC Water Security, Challenges against Water Security, Current Levels of Water Security at the GCC, Water Desalination And Water Security, Security of Desalinated Water Agriculture and Water Security, R&D and Water Security, Water Security & Food Security, Water Security & Energy Security, Success Stories on WS, Road Map for GCC Water Security.

3 Sources of Water At the GCC Water resources in the GCC are limited to three main sources: Desalinated water: the most strategic source of water, Groundwater: the main natural source of water, Treated wastewater: the most potential and future source of water. Other sources: Rain water and Aflaj system.

4 Water Security Definition: The ability of the country to insure clean and sustainable water supply for consumers. More specifically: Insure necessary water quantities in adequate quality to sustain public health and clean environment for a productive society, with low levels of hazards on people, environment and economy.

5 Water Security of the GCC Definition: Assurance of sustainable production and transportation of potable water for consumers on adequate quality and quantity, and maintain a safe and sustainable strategic reserve of potable water. Characteristics: Water Infrastructure; production, transportation, strategic storage, monitoring, conserving, transporting, treating & reusing. National Experts; capable of managing, protecting and development of this water infrastructure towards its sustainability.

6 Challenges against Water Security Social Challenges: Resistance to apply some water security policies as it require leaving irresponsible high water consumption habits, Inserting virtual water concept, as part of water security policies, will be faced strongly by the farmers lobby. Natural Challenges: Water Scarcity, Geographic Factors,

7 Challenges against Water Security Geo-politic Challenges: Location, Political Environment, Shared Water Resources. Management Challenges: Strategic Reserve of Water, Evaluation of Agriculture, Demand Management, IWRM, Regional Collaboration.

8 Current Levels of Water Security at the GCC Variation in water security levels due to different factors; desalination plants location, natural water resources, strategic reserve, water resources management, Desalinated Water: Saudi Arabia, Oman, and UAE, Natural Water Resources: Oman and Saudi Arabia, Strategic Reserve of Potable Water: Kuwait, Oman and UAE Water Resources Management: Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain

9 Water Desalination and Water Security Desalinated water is the main source for potable water in the GCC and should in the core of any water security policy, Desalinated water is the origin of the potential and future source of water; wastewater, Securing desalinated water will secure the most vital portion of water security,

10 Security of Desalinated Water Supporting and implementing desalination & renewable energy R&D, Monitoring and protecting intake points of desalination plants from current and potential sources of pollution, Deep intake design of desalination plants to reduce risk of pollution, Economic-environmental production of water; from oil to gas, renewable energy, ZLD desalination, Developing national manpower management & technical skills (short-term & long-term),

11 Security of Desalinated Water Private sector-public sector Partnership, Implementation of the GCC Water Linkage Project, Implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management, Activate the role of ROPME Sea Area to enhance and protect the Arabian Gulf environment.

12 Agriculture and Water Security Agriculture is the most consumer of water in the GCC (40%-80%); mostly from groundwater, In Kuwait, agriculture needs of water covered from two main sources advanced treated wastewater and groundwater, Water security requires: High tech. efficient irrigation systems, Economic selection of crops,

13 R&D and Water Security Harsh climate and water scarcity of GCC necessitate compatible R&D role and applications towards the following: Innovative desalination/treatment techniques, Innovative renewable energy systems, Efficient management of water resources.

14 Water Security & Food Security From where we start? Food security to meet the minimum healthy food need, Can be met from local, regional, international sources depending on availability of agriculture infrastructure; water, soil and climate, Virtual Water should be part of water security equation.

15 Water Security & Energy Security Energy security is having a sustainable source of energy for strategic needs of the country; water, electricity, health & sanitation. Water and electricity production consumes huge quantities of fossil fuel/gas (main sources of income to GCC), Renewable energies is the key factor for both energy security and water security for the GCC.

16 Success Stories on Water Security USA: Long-term vision for water security by investing billions of dollars in the united water infrastructure believing that water would either unify the states or divide them, The cost of USA dams since 1920 is 200 billion $, however, the USA gained 700 billion $ from these dams, USA and due to water security plans applied raised the per capita of available water storage to 6000 m3, compared to 150 m3 for the the GCC.

17 Success Stories on Water Security Japan: Water is part of the Japanese culture with long history of transport management and flood control. Before the boom of the Japanese economy and just after the 2nd world war, the loses of one flood was equal to 10% of the GDP, Between 1950 and 1975 Japan invested 2 trillion yen to improve the water infrastructure; the loses of floods did not exceed 1% of the GDP.

18 Road Map for GCC Water Security Unify the general outlines of the GCC water strategies and regulations; tariff system, specifications, groundwater management, etc., Implement the water link between the GCC Countries (2000 Km from Oman to Kuwait, two desalination plants on Oman s Arab Sea producing together 500 M m3/d). It is not advisable to bring water from outside the GCC. Virtual water is vital approach (Kuwait import from GCC only, an equivalent of 258 Mm3-around 25% of Kuwait water resources annually) Re-evaluate the subsidies to agriculture, which consumes from 40% to 80% of water resources at the GCC,

19 Road Map for GCC Water Security Economic and environmental reevaluation of desalination and treatment techniques and energy sources used, on the light of latest R&D Innovation, Coordinate the efforts of R&D institutions at the GCC through collaboration, transparency and joint projects towards more water security for the GCC, Coordinate the GCC efforts in manufacturing essential parts of desalination plants.

20 THANK YOU for your kind attention

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