The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has invited 14 local grade 1 contractors to bid by 19 February for a multi-million-dollar contract to create a wastewater reservoir at Umm al-Rehmam dry lake in the north, near the Iraqi border. An award is expected in the third quarter.

The scope of works calls for the supply and installation of an 80-kilometre-long water pipeline with a diameter of 1,200 millimetres from the private wastewater treatment plant at Sulaibiya to the dry lake. The contract also involves the construction of pumping stations and a data monitoring centre. Construction will take about two years.

The idea behind the scheme is to use the 14-square-kilometre natural lake to store treated wastewater in the winter for distribution in the summer. Kuwait has one of the most advanced water reuse networks in the Gulf, and the government plans to use its excess treated water to feed an ambitious beautification programme in Kuwait City.

The dry lake reservoir will be the second main beneficiary of a planned capacity increase at the Sulaibiya plant. The first is the Wafra farms project, which will see wastewater from the treatment facility being used to irrigate farms in the south (see page 20).