Qatar prepared for soaring water demand

Requirements for water and power in Qatar are expected to soar by more than 50% by 2022 according to estimates from the state owned utility the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).

Kahramaa has said demand was likely to rise to top 2,400 Ml/d over the next seven years from, about 1,500 Ml/d today with desalination as the sole means to meet the increase.

Among the country's developments is one of the biggest water schemes ever undertaken by Kahramaa which is to build five giant reservoirs.

Work began on the first one in mid-May. That was the beginning of a QR 17 billion (US$ 4.6 billion) project to enhance the country's water security by taking stored capacity to about 18,000 Ml, equal to some seven days of unrestricted water supply.

Also final contracts have been signed for the construction and operation of a new 2.4GW power and 650 Ml/d desalination plant in Umm Al Houl The US$ 3.2 billion independent water and power project deal has gone to a consortium between Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

Spanish firm Acciona Agua has been commissioned to provide technical services for the Umm Al Houl project and the Ras Abu Fontas A3 desalination plant - a 180 Ml/d independent water project.

Qatar's population rose 8.7% year-on-year in the 12 months to April 2015 to reach 2.3 million, an increase of 187,000, according to a report from Qatar National Bank. Population growth for 2015 is expected to back off to about 7%, according to the report. But the recent expansion, coupled with a growth in major infrastructure projects, is placing a mounting strain on the country's utilities.

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