GCC mulls $10bn water network plan
Manama, November 29, 2013
A new $10 billion GCC water network could be set up to prevent shortages following the success of the GCC Electricity Network, it was revealed yesterday.
It will be one of the key items debated at the GCC Summit in Kuwait on December 10, confirmed Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
He said $3 billion would be spent on two desalination plants in Oman and another $7 billion on pipelines linking all six Gulf countries, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The minister was unable to say exactly how long it would take to complete the network, except it would be less than 10 years.
"We have chosen the two locations in Sahar and Ashkharah in Oman because they are close to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea providing us with new water sources besides being away from pollutants in the Arabian Gulf," said Dr Mirza.
"After our success in the GCC Electricity Network and the ability to prevent 800 major electricity cuts since 2009 that would have affected lives in the Gulf and saved millions of dollars, we have decided to work on plans for a joint water network.
"The idea for the water network was given the go ahead by GCC leaders during the GCC Summit in Bahrain last year and it is on the agenda for approval on this year's summit that will be held in Kuwait."
Dr Mirza was speaking at a Press conference at the Sheraton Hotel yesterday on the sidelines of the launch of the United Nations Development Programme - the Regional Bureau for Arab States report on water governance.
UNDP administrator Helen Clark and other senior RBAS officials attended.
"We have to manage water resources because we are not blessed with natural springs anymore and 90 per cent of our drinking water comes through desalination," said Dr Mirza.
"Bahrain has a 205 million gallons daily production, which sees only 155m gallons being consumed, but the issue will be of an alarming nature in the future with the growth rate.
"There are huge amounts of water being lost due to leakages, waste and unaccountability." Dr Mirza added the government was looking to address the problem with the help of the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs and Works ministries.-TradeArabia News Service