Qatar General Electricity & Water Authority (Kahramaa) has invited bids from consultants to work on the construction of five major reservoirs. The winning bidder will provide design and construction supervision for the $2bn programme.

The five new reservoirs will have a total capacity of roughly 3,500 million gallons. Kahramma intends to create about 2,100 million gallons of storage by 2026. The remaining reservoir capacity will be completed by 2036.

The exact storage capacity achieved at each stage depends on the design of reservoir selected. The reservoirs may be circular or rectangular in shape. The consultant will conduct a feasibility study to determine the optimum type of reservoir.

Gulf water storage schemes
  Capacity (MG)
Qatar reservoirs scheme 3,500
Abu Dhabi water storage scheme 3,600
MG=Million gallons. Source: MEED

Transmission pipelines with a total length of 200 kilometres ranging in size between 1,200-2,000 millimetre in diameter will also be constructed. The first of the reservoirs will be tendered in mid-2012. Kahramaa will tender the projects, with France’s Sogreah as project manager.

So far, the tender has drawn a healthy level of interest with a large number of bid documents collected from Kahramaa. Bids were originally due by 9 June, but the deadline has now been moved to 7 August.

The programme is being undertaken to allow Qatar to store enough water to supply the country for about seven days as opposed to the current storage capacity, which would only last around a day and a half.

“[The programme] is primarily driven by water security concerns,” says a prospective bidder. “It is very similar to the project in Abu Dhabi to provide water storage by creating underground aquifers. Underground storage isn’t really an option in Qatar, so they’re looking at this project instead.”

“The programme is designed to ensure access to clean water even if there is some extreme event such as a red tide incident or terrorist strike on the water supply.”

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) selected the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC) and South Korea’s Posco Engineering & Construction Company to build its water storage scheme in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi in September 2010 (MEED 24:9:10).

The Abu Dhabi project, which is first of its kind in the Middle East, involves the building and installing an underground aquifer storage scheme in the Liwa oasis area. Over 400 wells are being drilled, which will be used to recharge the aquifer with water, together with pumping stations, monitoring wells and treatment facilities.

The ultimate aim of the project is to supply 40 million gallons of water a day, equivalent to 180,000 cubic metres a day, for up to 90 days.