Quality, quantity of Gulf water at risk
Today, the world is celebrating World Water Day. In Kuwait, where the climate is desert hot and water resources are already poor, the demand of water has increased. The local production of water depends on distillation stations which take water from the sea. The recent water pollution situation caused by the malfunction of the Mishref sewage station has dangerously affected the Kuwaiti sea water.
This year, as well as last year, Kuwait's main source of water, the sea, has been in danger. "We were already suffering from water shortage here, and now the situation is even worse," Dr Hamad Al-Matar, an associate professor in the Chemistry Department at Kuwait University, told the Kuwait Times. Since we depend on the sea as a main source of water, any pollution will affect the quantity and quality of the water. The Mishref situation negatively affects this issue.
Whoever owns the water, wins. According to Dr Al-Matar the next war will be for water. "Turkey, Iraq, and Syria are all fighting for water. Many other countries have conflicts for the same reason. Our problem is that we don't have a clear water strategy," the professor added.
Al-Matar thinks that Kuwait should have an alternative in case of a water shortage. "We should have a plan B. For instance, we could make deals with neighboring countries such as Iraq to support us with water," he explained.
Oil production negatively affects the underground water reserves. "We should think of a suitable strategy for preserving subterranean water. We should sign agreements with other countries or form a joint committee in the GCC to help solve the water problem. I think this would be more useful than nuclear cooperation between GCC countries," Al-Matar concluded.
Water is the source of life and the link that binds all living beings on the planet. "The growing population's need for water, food, raw materials and energy is competing with nature's own demands for water to sustain already imperiled ecosystems," said Khalid Al-Hajiri, Chairman of the Green Line Environmental Group (GLEG). I call upon the government to use renewable energy to desalinate water.
According to Al-Hajiri, Kuwait is using the worst kind of fuel in the water distillation stations. "The thinness of the pollution in the Gulf waters is decreasing the quality of the water. The GCC countries should provide enough resources to ensure the safety of the Gulf. Pouring sewage water into the sea without treating it first is still happening. This badly affects the environment and the health of the people," he pointed out.