Water, energy in GCC countries interrelated — Bahrain
MANAMA, March 28 (KUNA) — Water, food and energy are increasingly turning into closely intertwined vital sectors in member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), says a senior Bahraini official.
Water scarcity and limited locally-produced food in the GCC states have prompted these countries to depend on each others to secure clean water and sufficient nutrition for growing populations in the region, said Dr. Al-Zibari, Chairman of the technical consultative committee of the Bahraini Water Resources Council.
Al-Zibari, addressing inaugural session of the 12th edition of the Gulf Water Conference/Exhibition, on Tuesday, said link-up among water, food and energy is turning more complex with time, due to mounting demand for such resources and hiking consumption, along with populations’ growth and changing consumption patterns.
This relationship among these factors is forecast to turn much more delicate due to global climatic change.
Attempts to attain food security with local production without considering limited water resources will lead to draining them in the long run, thus resulting in degradation of the agricultural field.
The Gulf region is in general short on water resources however the regional countries have managed to secure their needs by desalinating sea waters and digging wells.
Concurring with Al-Zibari, Khaled Bin Saeed Al-Ebri, the GCC assistant general secretary for economic and development affairs, said water scarcity has become one of the top challenges in the Gulf.
He also agreed with Al-Zibari that food, water and energy are connected and called for greater investments in water desalination and treatment.
Desalinated water in the GCC countries account to 55 percent of the global output.