The project aims to boost water supply to the city to 170,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) from 50,000 cm/d. It calls for the construction of a 129,000-cubic-metre reservoir, a 3.1-cubic-metre-a-second drainage pump to divert water from the River Senegal, a

water treatment station, water supply networks for people living near the treatment station and a four-pump pumping station and water treatment plant in Nouakchott.

The contract is being financed by the Mauritanian government and a number of development banks, including the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

A consortium of SCP, The Associated Engineering Partnership (TAEP) of Kuwait and the local Bureau Africain d’Etudes et de Controle en Mauritanie (Afrecom) was awarded in 1998 a six-year contract to carry out initial design studies on the project. The designs envisaged increasing drinking water supply to the capital to 150,000 cm/d by 2020 and to 225,000 cm/d by 2030.

The contract is ONEP’s first venture outside the kingdom and is part of the company’s strategy to operate internationally in order to share its expertise with countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. The population of Nouakchott is expected to double in the next 20 years to 1 million inhabitants.