GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Water Resources Sustainability in Kuwait
Paper Proposal Text :
Water resources sustainability is crucial for the people of Kuwait to live in a healthy style whilst maintaining the natural environment. Water plays a fundamental role in economic growth and alleviating poverty. The water resources of Kuwait are far from being sustainable due to many factors such as scarcity of natural water resources, high population growth, high standards of living and the adaptation of a policy that aims at expanding irrigated agriculture and industrialization without a proper link to the socio-economic returns on the people of Kuwait. At moment Kuwait subsidizes desalinated water and associated infrastructure to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water. This subsidy of about 4 billion US$ per year to the water sector has become burden on the national budget of Kuwait especially when the price of exporting oil has dropped significantly in recent months. Also, there are environmental problems associated with desalination, such as brine discharges and carbon dioxide emissions, high cost, and elevated consumption of energy. On the other hand, agriculture consumes a considerable volume of the produced groundwater and provides a low contribution to Kuwait’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This practice has led to an increase in the salinity of aquifers and to fast depletion of aquifers. Also, the reuse of treated wastewater in irrigation is still low. This paper provides discussions of the practical benefits of developing suitable and strategic policies in response to the economic, environmental, financial and cultural conditions in Kuwait in order to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to sustain water supplies for the future for Kuwait. The paper provides detailed analysis if it would be better to import food and embedded ‘Virtual Water’ and the use of treated wastewater for irrigation rather than depleting the groundwater aquifers for irrigated agriculture because these measures will release groundwater for more strategic use. This paper promotes the use of renewable energy to operate desalination plants especially there is an ever increasing demand for desalinated water in Kuwait which is expected to increase by a large percentage above the current level in the near future.