Qatar to spend $884m to double water supply

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(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar will spend $884m on projects to more than double its water supply and boost reserves, it was announced on Tuesday.

One of the driest countries in the world, Qatar’s water reserves of about 250m gallons would last only one month in the case of an emergency, according to the Gulf state’s water authority, Kahramaa.

Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani said five projects worth a total QR3.22bn would boost reserves by 126 percent to 561m gallons.

Five new water reservoirs and pumping stations would be built in Duhail, Umm Qarn, Mesaimeer, South Doha and Muathier, as well as new reservoirs at existing stations.

They are expected to be ready by the end of 2017 and would be powered by electricity generated by solar panels.

“Solar equipment will be installed on the surface of reservoirs to generate electricity,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

“This will also enable each reservoir to function independently using solar power in case of any emergency.”

Kahramaa president Engineer Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari said the stations would be located in areas with higher populations and low water flows.

“They ensure the availability of more than one station for one area to meet emergencies and avoid interruptions,” he said.

Water is a key issue in Gulf states, where most supplies come from desalination facilities. The region generates about 40 percent of total desalinated water in the world.

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