A study has expressed concern over rising water consumption in Qatar, pointing out that free supply to citizens has made the per capita use of water one of the highest in the world.
The study, issued by the Permanent Population Committee that works under the General Secretariat for Development Planning, criticised what it called “extravagant use of water”, saying that “water’s economic value” was not felt by many among the community.
Water consumption by citizens was much higher than that of the expatriate workforce, the study added.
While estimating the per capita water use in Qatar at 675 litres per person per day, the study said it was higher than in most developed countries.
“There is a need for conserving water as Qatar’s per capita water use is higher than that of the US which is estimated at 575 litres per day, and Europe which ranges between 200 and 300 litres and in poor countries like Mozambique where the daily consumption is 10 litres per day,” the study added.
Citing data from the Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), the study said the annual per capita water use increased from 182cu m in 1990 to 247cu m in 2005.
It also indicated that fresh water consumption levels posed a challenge to sustainable development.
Countries in the water-scarce Gulf region mainly rely on desalinated water.
About the condition of sea water, the study lamented the rising pressure on the marine environment along the country’s coast, including rising salinity as well as the destruction of coral reefs in some areas due to construction activities.
Among other pressures, the study said fish catches increased from 5,031.9 tonnes in 1997 to 16,945.6 tonnes in 2006.
It estimated the annual fishing growth rate at 14%, while describing the sector as “unorganised”.
The study also cited some cases of wastes from plants being pumped into the water of the eastern coast, affecting the quality of the sea water in the area.
It also lamented the adverse impact on the marine environment caused by sewage being pumped directly into the sea.
“As the capacity of water treatment stations is not enough to process all the sewage in the country, some of this is pumped into the sea which directly affects the marine creatures,” the study added.
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