$1bn GCC water link study gathers pace
JEDDAH: P. K. ABDUL GHAFOUR - Mon, Jul 15th 2013 12:22 AM
$1bn GCC water link study gathers pace
Efforts are under way to link the Gulf Cooperation Council states with a water pipeline at a cost of $1 billion.
Officials say the project, similar to the GCC power grid, is expected to be ready by 2020.
Gulf states have earlier announced plans to invest $300 billion in water projects by 2022 to meet the needs of their growing populations.
Adnan Al-Muhaisin, CEO of GCC Interconnection Authority, and Ahmed Al-Ibrahim, vice president for operations have held talks with officials of Artelia, which is carrying out a a feasibility study on the project. An agreement with the company was signed last April.
Sunday’s meeting discussed the legal aspects of linking GCC with a water network, said the authority, adding that the GCC power grid had proved its effectiveness by meeting shortages in the member countries.
The power grid was instrumental in preventing power cuts. It also helped member states to sell surplus electricity.
The meeting, which was attended by Muhammad Al-Rasheedi from the GCC General Secretariat, also discussed matters related to water link, which has already received the green signal from GCC leaders.
According to one study Saudi population consumes twice the international average and six times more than the UK, while the UAE consumes 83 percent more than the average.
This is despite the fact that the Gulf region is one of the poorest in terms of water resources.
GCC states depend heavily on desalinated water.
Seawater is an energy-intensive process, consuming eight times more energy than groundwater projects and accounting for between 10 percent and 25 percent of energy consumption in the member states.
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