Treated wastewater ‘can be used for irrigation’
Doha, May 8, 2008
The use of treated wastewater for irrigation saves the country’s limited water resources in the long run, according to an expert.
It also ensures sustainability of agriculture in the country, said Hyder Consulting Middle East Project Manager Donald Macrae while presenting a case study of the company’s work in Qatar at the ENVIRO 2008 – FACING THE CHALLENGE convention in Melbourne, Australia.
“Groundwater reserves are becoming exhausted by agriculture with 240 million cubic metres extracted per year and only 40 million cubic metres recharged. Furthermore, 99 per cent of the potable water in Qatar is provided by desalination plants. With a current abundance of oil and gas this is affordable but it may not be sustainable in the long term,” said Macrae.
Macrae explained the alarming situation of water scarcity in Qatar, a country with low annual rainfall, rising population and depleted groundwater reserves.
The Hyder Consulting study showed how upgrading the Qatari capital’s sewage treatment works (STW), made it safe to use the treated wastewater for crop growing and hence offset the country’s potential water crisis.
“About 80pc of Qatar’s population lives in the capital city of Doha which has an extensive sewerage system that is being expanded continuously to try and keep pace with development. It is estimated that 89 million cubic metres of wastewater were generated last year and this figure grew at an average rate of six percent over the past three years,” said Macrae.
“Treating and reusing the wastewater generated by this ever-growing population would help save 100pc of potable water and hence sustain the Qatari community.”
Hyder Consulting has been operating in Qatar for 45 years working as a consultant to the Public Works Authority (PWA).
The consultancy has been responsible for the design of all of the large sewage treatment works and much of the sewerage and TSE network in the country. – TradeArabia News Service