Kuwait investment in water projects at $5.28b until 2014

JEDDAH – The total investment in Kuwait’s water sector between 2005 and 2014 stands at $5.28 billion, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) said recently in its report on the country’s water sector.

Highlighting the demand, supply and investment trends in the sector, the report noted that water treatment plants saw highest investment at $3.4 billion. In 2010 many projects were undertaken and finished. The construction of Sabiya distillation plants projects Stage I & Stage II, Shuaiba north distillation plants and Shuwaikh Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant took place.

The construction of Az-Zour North Distillation Plant Project is a huge and much awaited one in Kuwait. It aimed to supply and erect 15 multi stages flash distillation units each of 17 MIGPD capacity with a recarbonation plant, in addition to one Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant having 25 MIGPD capacity, that is having total capacity of 280 MIGPD for the plant.
Kuwait recorded the highest water consumption per capita per day with the value of 500 liters. In terms of its water withdrawal, Kuwait seems to be low at 374 m3 per year per capita, but the availability of renewable water resources stands at 7 m3 per year per capita, which is also very low compared to its GCC peers.

Potable water is mainly consumed by municipalities as potable water finds its use among residential places. Potable water consumption in 2011 stood at 128,236 MIG (million imperial gallons). Municipalities are mainly urban cities and the urban population in Kuwait is increasing rapidly. With increasing population and changing usage trends, the consumption of potable water is estimated to be 142,230 MIG in 2015. This value highlights the heat of demand for fresh water in near future.

Agriculture is also a major sector that withdraws substantial amount of water. Sulaibha farms are government owned farms, which are supplied with brackish water. Brackish water is highly saline, which is not suitable for municipal consumption. Brackish water consumed in 2011 stands at 19,265 MIG. Though the arable land in hectares has decreased from 12 to 11 from 2002 to 2008, the crop produce has been exhibiting increasing trend. The crop production index, which is produced by keeping cultivated land area constant, has shown an increasing trend between 2008 and 2011. These all indicate the possibilities for an increase in withdrawal of water by agriculture sector.

On supply side, there are very little internal renewable water resources.

The annual precipitation is very meager when compared to the prevailing demand. Desalination and sewage treatment plants are the alternative sources of water. Total desalination capacity as of 2010 is around 423.1 MIGD (million imperial gallons per day). Sewage treatment plants are taken care by Ministry of Public Works. Sulaibha facility is the only plant producing RO treated wastewater as of 2011.

The Ministry of Electricity & Water owns and operates all existing power and water production facilities, transmission networks and distribution systems in Kuwait and sells electricity and water. Water tariffs are categorized based on type of consumer. It is just 0.02 Kuwait dinar (KD) per 1,000 gallons for Sulaibha farms and it is 0.85 KD for state facilities and companies.