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Mon 13 Jan 2014 10:52 AM

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GCC to discuss water, electricity consumption crackdown

The six Gulf states have one of the highest levels of water consumption in the world

GCC to discuss water, electricity consumption crackdown
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

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.

Gargle! 5 years ago

watering acres of land around the country to look pretty consumes a major part of consumption and the thousands if not millions of miles of irrigation pipes watering plants and trees that are not necessary. I have no doubt the cost of any new water regulation will fall to the expat once again whilst locals free heavy usage will continue..

Ahmad 5 years ago

I have no doubt that Kuwait has enormous consumption levels and that is due to patterns of behaviour by residents due to the subsidized policy by the Kuwait government. If you are paying water rates per a 1970's grid, the government is to blame for not updating electricity/water rates, especially in a country where the population levels have dramatically increased since 1970. In the UAE expats are handcuffed by DEWA, so they are cautious with electricity/water rates that are the highest in the GCC.