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Posted On: 30 March 2011 10:15 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Qatar tops per capita water use in world

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DOHA: Per capita household water use in Qatar is one of the highest in the world. People in Qatar use an average of 310 litres of water every day, more than double the average for West European countries. Studies show that Qataris used 1,200 litres per person per day in 2009, while expatriates consumed 150 litres per person per day during the same year. To address the high consumption and wastage of water in the country and other water-related issues, the government will form a National Water Act by 2016, as part of the Qatar National Strategic Plan 2011-2016. Qatar has become increasingly dependent on water produced from seawater, by means of costly and energy-intensive thermal desalination, which accounts for about half the water used in the country. But with rapid population growth and urbanisation, the volume is soaring: use of desalinated water has tripled since 1995, reaching 312 million cubic metres in 2008. Increasing demand of desalinated water is projected to continue — with heavy water losses, a growing population and higher household consumption. Based on current trends, consumption through 2020 is expected to increase 5.4 percent a year for Qataris and 7 percent a year for expatriates. Compared with other countries, Qatar has low water tariffs (free for Qatari households and low-cost for non-Qatari households) that recover less than a third of the costs of water production. A priority of the National Development Strategy 2011–2016 is to improve the management of water resources so that future generations do not face difficulties meeting basic needs. The presently fragmented patchwork of laws and rules will be replaced by a comprehensive water policy, codified under a National Water Act and followed by a system of integrated regulation. Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is investing in piping and leak-sealing operations to lower network water losses to 10 percent by 2016, from the present 35 percent. Tariff structures that encourage conservation, coupled with public awareness campaigns and mandated use of water-efficient appliances, could reduce consumption by as much as 40 percent, according to some estimates. The government will establish a system for monitoring diminishing fresh groundwater levels while taking stock of the full causes and consequences of Doha’s rising water table. The government will work to eliminate excess flows into the Doha water table