GCC governments are accelerating investments in the region’s water and wastewater capacity in order to meet rapidly rising demand.
According to new research from MEED – the Middle East Economic Digest – about $80bn-worth of water and wastewater projects are currently planned or underway in the GCC.
In its latest research report, GCC Water and Wastewater Outlook 2019, MEED reveals that demand for water is set to rise by about 62 per cent by 2025.
Demand growth on this scale necessitates significant capital investment in new capacity.
But in a fiscal environment where governments are working hard to minimise budget deficits and debt levels, it is no longer enough to simply increase capacity.
According to the report findings, the focus of current water and wastewater investment strategies being implemented across the GCC is to ensure sustainable development, both from a fiscal and an environmental point of view.
The report identifies an increasing focus on the decoupling of water production from electricity generation enabled by new technologies, which allows for greater flexibility in supply and reduces capital costs.
A high priority is also being given to changing the way that water is consumed in the region.
In the UAE, the adoption of filters on taps is reported to have resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in water consumption. And despite having once been treated with scepticism, the use of treated sewage effluent and recycled wastewater is now becoming accepted.
One significant challenge, according to the report, is the slow adoption of new technologies that are opening up opportunities to live more sustainably.
In a region characterised by a lack of rivers, lakes and rainfall, the rapid expansion of cities and the requirements of growing populations are driving a surge in demand for water supply and wastewater treatment capacity.
There are few more pressing needs in the Middle East and North Africa than the need for reliable water supply.
GCC Water & Wastewater Outlook 2019 provides a comprehensive snapshot of the GCC’s water and wastewater market, the latest investment trends as well as project opportunities.
To find out more about the report, click here.