Bahrain to dig artificial water springs
Manama, December 22, 2013
Artificial springs are being dug across Bahrain in a bid to increase the country's water resources.
The ambitious plan is being spearheaded by the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry, which is conducting a pilot phase in Isa Town, Zayed Town, Rumaitha and Dar Kulaib, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain produces around 90 million cu cm of treated water a day with 60 per cent going towards agriculture.
Ministry agriculture affairs assistant under-secretary Dr Salman Al Khuzaie hopes the project will reduce that percentage and redirect treated water to other uses.
He revealed details of the plan during a meeting with the Central Municipal Council.
"There are several technical aspects within the ground itself that makes the process easy or difficult," he said.
"Sometimes surface water is cleaner than water found deep in the ground, and we can't just take any water and inject it into the ground unless the mixture will improve the quality of the stock and will not pollute it.
"We have to also consider that injecting water has to be done according to a certain depth depending on the location and with our experiments with the artificial wells we have dug, we have achieved success."
Al Khuzaie said springs could be excavated at other locations around the country's five governorates, but further feasibility studies have to be conducted first.
"We are looking for ways to benefit from rainwater that gathers on streets, however, mostly it is impure with pollutants from vehicles mixing with it," he said.
"Bahrain doesn't have a lot of rain and most natural springs have dried up besides sewage leakages to the ground.
"We have possible locations that we are planning to dig, we may succeed or fail, but we have to carry out tests."
Al Khuzaie explained that the project would reduce reliance on treated water for agriculture, and could be used for other purposes including human consumption, industries and tourism.
"We are looking to reduce that 60 per cent and direct the water into other uses, and for that we are looking into hydroponics and new techniques to reduce reliance on it and excess consumption."
Meanwhile, councillor Majdi Al Nasheet suggested using rainwater drained by tankers to supply the Civil Defence.
"Since rainwater is not exactly pure and is not good for agriculture without treatment, then they could be used as they are by firemen to extinguish fires," he said.
Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa warned last month that wars could break out in future unless more is done to preserve the world's scarce water resources.
He urged governments to draw up strategies to prevent shortages, as demand rises for human consumption, agriculture, industries and tourism. He was speaking during the launch of the United Nations Development Programme - the Regional Bureau for Arab States report on water governance at the Sheraton Hotel. - TradeArabia News Service