The GCC will increase its total seawater desalination capacity by nearly 40 per cent by 2020 in an effort to meet the increasing demand for potable water in the region, said organisers of the upcoming International Water Summit, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, next year (January 18 to 21).
According to the data produced by Meed Projects, the GCC’s current seawater desalination capacity of approximately 4,000 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD) is set to increase to more than 5,500 MIGD – nearly 40 per cent – over the next five years as the GCC states invest heavily in increasing potable water supply.
Desalination is becoming an increasingly important matter for countries like the UAE and Qatar, which have experienced rapid rises in demand for water on the back of strong economic and population growth, and Saudi Arabia where groundwater supplies are depleting. As a result, there is a growing need for new water resources, said Ed James, director of Content & Analysis at Meed Projects.
Currently, demand for potable water in the region is about 3,300 MIGD, and is expected to grow to about 5,200 MIGD by 2020.