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Qatar needs to boost water security strategy: Experts

Tribune News Network


Water Security experts have stressed the need for Qatar to improve its Water Security Strategy.

In recent survey conducted by Gulf Intelligence (GI) Industry, 75 per cent of respondents opined that Qatar's industry, academia and government are not adequately aligned on the country's water security strategy to sufficiently withstand a large scale disaster if there was an earthquake or an oil spill.

The Middle East is located at the junction of major tectonic plates namely the African, Arabian and Eurasian plates which causes significant tectonic activity in the region. Among 150 professionals surveyed, only two percent said that Qatar's industry, academia and government's united water security outlook is well-aligned to deal with an unexpected and negative event on a national scale.

Twenty-three percent believed that the three institutions could handle a disaster sufficiently.

The survey reveals that strong communication channels and clear goals are vital between industry, academia and government to ensure a holistic effort.

"Such an approach would mean nurturing the education of water experts in Qatar and facilitating research and development into innovative and cost-effective water technologies. For example, desalination technologies have quickly evolved 99 percent of Qatar's municipal demand is supplied via desalination but much more research is required to reduce the high associated costs," the survey states.

The report adds that a holistic approach would also include a clear regulatory framework that holds industry, academic and government accountable for their actions, as well as help change the way Qatari society consumes water.

"Qatar's inter-ministerial Permanent Population Committee estimates that residents consume 675 litres of water per capita per day nearly twice the average consumption in the EU. Cuts to water subsidies by Qatar's utility Kahramma in January marked a significant step, the report adds.

"Industry, academia and government must first unite their efforts by mending bridges of communication. The level of national cohesion will become especially vital as the global spirit of innovation spirit accelerates.

"By aligning industry, academia and government's goals and research and development efforts, Doha could transform the strained water security outlook into a profitable knowledge-based export product in years to come. Developing water expertise at home and exporting water solutions to other countries facing similar challenges would also support Qatar's goal to become a knowledge-based economy," the report suggests.


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