Water, electricity consumption in Qatar jump amid efforts to reduce usage

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Despite government efforts to reduce usage of water and electricity in Qatar, the consumption of both utilities jumped last year by an average of 11 percent, according to the Minister of Energy and Industry.

During a conference this week, Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada said, as quoted by the Peninsula:

“Water consumption in Qatar increased by 9 percent in 2012 in comparison to the previous year. Electricity energy and maximum demand increased by 13 percent during the same period. Therefore, the big challenge for this region is to plan ahead and execute infrastructure energy projects to keep pace with its economic growth.”

The news puts Qatar’s Tarsheed program far behind its goal of water consumption by 35 percent and electricity usage by 20 percent over the next five years.

The initiative is not without teeth – by law, Tarsheed can fine residents for certain violations, including keeping their porch lights on between 7 am and 4:30 pm. But the fines don’t appear to have acted as much of a deterrent.

Sky-high water usage

Though Qatar is a desert country with only a 48-hour emergency water supply, its water usage is among the highest in the world per capita.

In a sign that it is not depending on its population to reduce its utility usage, Qatar is also exploring solar technology and plans to spend billions on the construction of some of the world’s largest water tanks.

Al Sada said:

“Water is a utility which needs our serious attention, both for making it available to meet the growing demand and for rationalising its consumption, especially in the context of the GCC region. This calls for substantial investment in improved desalination technologies, which could involve solar energy or new ways of filtering out salt.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Image courtesy of Tarsheed Qatar on Facebook

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