The Arabian peninsula is one of the driest parts of the world; all the countries in the region are situated in arid and extremely arid zones.
Water scarcity gets further worsened by rapidly growing demand due to rapid population growth; unsustainable consumption; climate change and weak management institutions and regulations. Such scarcity erodes the socio-economic sustainability of the communities that depend on the depleting storage.
For tackling its looming water crisis, the Arabian peninsula is adopting a new approach to water management.
The first trend is a greater focus on efficiency.
All stakeholders are voicing concerns about the efficiency and environmental impact of the water sector. Leaky networks are a key area of concern: leaks cause 30-50 per cent of the lost water carried water. Authorities are issuing more tenders to assess and repair the network’s damages.
The second trend is a far greater interest in technologies that can improve the efficiency, sustainability and energy consumption of the entire water industry. Digitalization can deliver huge efficiencies in water management: smart meters can provide valuable data to manage supply and demand.
In addition, there is a huge interest in harnessing renewable energy to power desalination and water treatment plants. Water authorities want to increase the amount of recycled water in irrigation.
Last, but not least, there is a greater willingness on the part of governments to involve private sector companies in water management.