GCC to discuss water, electricity consumption crackdown

The six Gulf states have one of the highest levels of water consumption in the world
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Courtney Trenwith
Mon 13 Jan 2014 10:52 AM

Gulf residents could soon face measures to reduce their water and electricity consumption – among the highest in the world – when officials from the six Gulf Cooperation Council states meet to discuss possible joint action.

The UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar are due to discuss joint legal measures to ration consumption of the essential commodities and subscriber services during a meeting in Kuwait City on Tuesday, one of the officials told Kuwait Times.

Gulf residents use an average of 300-750 litres of water per day per person.

The consumption is among the highest in the world, despite the region being one of the driest and supply reliant on desalination plants. The GCC states have the highest desalinated water capacity in the world, at more than 50 percent of total world production.

However, there is little public awareness about the need to conserve water and electricity, the official said.

Gulf governments are regularly working to increase capacity of desalination plants to keep up with demand, which is pressured by rising populations.

In 2010, Kuwaitis were threatened with water restrictions as their consumption neared total capacity levels.

The committee would consider a study about technologies available to ration water and electricity and introduce the importance of conserving these commodities into school curriculums, the official said.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazroui earlier told Kuwait Times the Gulf states were studying options to connect water supplies between GCC countries, with water supply one of the biggest challenges facing Gulf countries.

He said the UAE was conducting consumption campaigns, purifying used water, building dams, and keeping water inside the ground to limit the dependence on desalined sea water.

The GCC countries will celebrate International Water Day on March 22 and the Gulf would host a rationalisation week to promote water and electricity conservation.

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