Water security

 23 Jan 2018 - 14:34

The Peninsula

Water is one of the most basic needs of all. It is a strategic resource which plays a key role, not only in the well-being of people, but also in the stability of a country. Hence providing enough potable water for its people is one of the fundamental priorities of a nation.  For a country like Qatar, with a vast geography of desert land, water security is of supreme importance.

Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project is a testament to the fact that Qatar considers water security as a fundamental prerequisite for the progress of its people. The first phase of the project, being implemented by the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is designed to increase water storage capacity by a week during normal times and several months in case of an emergency, is nearing completion.

In order to provide multiple water resources to ensure enough potable water is available for daily use, Kahramaa has readied ground water wells, a network of water desalination plants connecting different areas of the country and is all set to add a giant water reservoir facility.

Kharamaa President Issa bin Hilal Al Kuwari said recently: “Water security is very important because Qatar is geographically located in a desert and dried land where rainfall is low and groundwater stock is relatively low.” So the country, instead of depending on a single source, is tapping multiple sources including desalination of sea water, which is available aplenty.

The government has plans to set up more desalination plants to meet the growing demand for water. But as sea is a single source any contamination that may happen will affect the entire water supply system of the country and one option to circumvent this possibility is to ensure a strategic reserve of water. Keeping this in mind the government decided to implement the Mega Water Reservoirs Project, the largest concrete water storage facility in the world at a cost of QR14bn in the first phase. It will add 1,400 million gallons to the existing 1,000 million gallons water.

Ground water is precious for Qatar and it is with utmost prudence that the country taps ground water, with strict regulations controlling its exploitation. The country aims to achieve water and food security without harming ground water reserve. A well-established system, which is regularly tested for efficiency, manages the use of ground water with wells equipped with tanks and linked to pumping stations.

With the completion of the Mega Water Reservoirs Project it is sure that the people of the country will not go thirsty in an emergency.