Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has awarded a contract to France’s Sogreah to conduct a feasibility study for its planned Water Security Mega Reservoirs scheme.

The project involves the construction of five giant reservoirs on the outskirts of Doha to provide the capital with a stand-by source of water.

Doha currently relies entirely on water produced in desalination plants at Ras Laffan to the north and Ras Abu Fontas to the south of the capital.

The Water Security Mega Reservoirs scheme will connect the desalination plants at Ras Laffan and Ras Abu Fontas via a 2.5-metre-diameter pipeline, which will skirt the west side of Doha. The pipeline will also connect to five reservoirs on the outskirts of the capital.

Each reservoir will cover an area of 250,000 square metres and have a capacity of 2.6 billion gallons of water. The reservoirs will together provide one week of emergency supplies, assuming unrationed use. If Kahramaa were to ration water in an emergency, the reservoirs would be able to supply Doha for up to a month.

The Qatari utility estimates that the country’s peak demand for water will reach 329 million gallons a day (g/d) in 2019. Qatar’s 2009 peak water consumption occurred in June, when demand reached 215 million g/d, a 9 per cent jump on its September 2008 peak of 197 million g/d.

There are several desalination plants currently in operation at Ras Laffan and Ras Abu Fontas, including the Ras Laffan A and B independent water and power projects (IWPP), and the Ras Abu Fontas B, B1 and B2 plants.