Middle East Water Industry Requires Major Investment
The continuing population boom in the Middle East is causing a sharp increase in water demand. Coupled with the arid conditions of one of the world's most water-stressed regions, meeting future demand presents more and more challenges.
It is estimated that up to US$ 200 Billion is needed in investment until 2025 in the region both in infrastructure and in water and wastewater treatment. Adaptation of integrated water resources management, public-private partnerships and placement of national policies (both short and long term) is of paramount importance, since current trends are not sustainable.
A critical requirement is water pricing. Faced with rapid growth in regional water demand, governments can no longer afford to subsidize the high costs of water. Many believe that tariffs have a critical role to play in the future of Middle East water resourcing.
His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi - Environmental Stewardship Expert - highlighted some of these key issues during a recent interview:
"Water demand in the Middle East region is on the rise and (major) investment is needed. Considering we live in one of the world's driest areas, water represents a challenge to the development and sustainability of the region's economies. As for wastewater, it can contribute to reduce the water deficit if utilized properly. Both water and wastewater have a direct impact on the environment and human health in the region. A more sustainable approach to water management is needed through the adaptations of an integrated water resources management approach."
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi was commenting in the run-up to WaterTech 2010, a regional water event taking place on 9 - 12 May in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
WaterTech will address key water resource and water demand management issues in the Middle East, including an in-depth look at wastewater treatment and reuse, a key priority for regional governments. Water authorities, municipalities, regulators and other industry professionals from across the region will gather with ministry representatives to form a coordinated, sustainable approach to water and wastewater management.
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies will be featuring its world leading treatment solutions at the event, which will be their second partnership for the series. Also providing expertise will be Kharafi National, UtilEco, Abu Dhabi Pipe Factory, Netherlands Water Partnership, Schlumberger Water Services and supporting WaterTech will be European Desalination Society.
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