Bahrain ministers ink MoU to boost water resources management

Bahrain’s Oil Minister, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, and Bahrain’s Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning Minister, Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on integrated water resources management.

The MoU aims to promote the optimal use of natural resources, including water resources, and is in line with the decisions of the Water Resources Council, headed by the kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, to maximise the utilisation and sustainability of water resources in the kingdom.

Shaikh Mohamed said the MoU would combine efforts and help to exchange experiences that will contribute to the achievement of the national strategy for integrated water resource management.

The MoU will also focus on refining the skills of personnel working in the field of water and develop their capabilities in order to enable them to fulfil national aspirations in the field of water conservation.

It also aims to boost cooperation in a comprehensive audit on the management and optimal use of water in the agricultural, municipal, and industrial sectors, building a database on groundwater, and aiding cooperation in the field of recharging groundwater with treated water.

The MoU calls for exchanging experiences, cooperating, and coordinating with relevant stakeholders to develop principles and issue a guide for quality standards for treated wastewater for various uses and sectors, depending on the results of the biological and chemical analyses carried out by the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning.

Bahrain’s Oil Minister also emphasised the engagement of the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) in expanding efforts and partnership for saving the water resources in accordance with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's vision to develop processes to ensure water and food security.

For instance, the Water Resources Management Unit (WRM) was established under the NOGA umbrella and under the supervision of the Water Resources Council, to enhance the sustainability of water resources management.

The projects undertaken by the unit include modelling the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources in Bahrain; a project studying the benefits of gray water; a comprehensive audit of water management and use in Bahrain; and rainwater harvesting projects.

The ministry has taken radical steps in the field of wastewater treatment to create a balance between available water and future demand in order to achieve the objectives of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.

Since 2004, the oil ministry has initiated the delivery of triple treated water to farms in the western region of the Kingdom for reuse in irrigation. Similarly, the construction of the Muharraq sewage treatment plant contributed to treating 85,000m3 per day.

The ministry’s recent operation of the treated water line from the North Sitra station to the Umm Al Hassam area has enabled approximately 14,500m3 per day to be used in agriculture in the Manama area, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency.




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