The Arab Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry Association estimates the cost of the upcoming water desalinizing projects in the Arab world will reach $7.56 billion, reports Al-Bayan newspaper, and are to be executed through 2001-2006.
The projects will be divided throughout the region, with $2.9 billion-worth projects located in Saudi Arabia and $2.2 billion in the UAE. The remaining plants, valued at $2.45 billion, will be situated in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
Presently, the Arab states receive only one percent of the overall quantity of available drinking water in the world. Nearly 87 percent of this supply is used in agriculture, resulting in the loss of 80 billion cubic meters of water annually, due to inefficient irrigation systems, pollution and desertification.
The Arab region has the lowest drinking quantity compared with the rest of the world. The annual per capita share of renewed water resources amounts to 1,250 cubic meters. This figure is equivalent to half of the per capita share of water in Asia, which is considered the second driest region in the world. Moreover, this amount is expected to fall as low as 464 cubic meters by the year 2025. –(Albawaba-MEBG)