Browsing 'water' News


Reservoir rendering

Construction of five mega-reservoirs that aim to boost Qatar’s emergency water supply is now 70 percent complete, Kahramaa officials have announced.

When finished, they will be among the world’s largest reservoirs, with a capacity of some 100 million gallons of water each.

They aim to supply Qatar’s population a seven-day strategic reserve of freshwater.


Reservoir construction

Currently, the nation has at best a two-day emergency supply. This is problematic given Qatar’s growing population, which has put an increasing strain on the country’s resources.

Work on the $4.7 billion Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project began in 2015, with the initial phases slated to be done next year.

The reservoirs are being built in Um Baraka, Um Salal, Rawdat Rashid, Abu Nakhla, and Al Thumama.

Progress report

According to the Qatar Tribune, more than 70 percent of reservoir construction has been completed and the facilities are now in the testing phase.

Additionally, water pipelines work is 95 percent complete and is now in testing phase.


Network of reservoirs

Now, attention is being turned toward linking the five reservoirs through water pipelines that span a distance of up to 660km.

The newspaper reports that these pipelines are being imported from France and Japan.

After the reservoirs are complete, Kahramaa aims to construct additional pipelines and 16 more reservoirs at the initial five sites to achieve an “ultimate total storage capacity of about 3,800 million gallons of water,” it said on its website.

This work won’t begin until after 2020, however.


Kamran Hanif/Flickr

Photo of Purple Island for illustrative purposes only.

A new-five year project to better understand Qatar’s marine life and uncover its “hidden secrets” is set to begin in a few months, researchers have announced.

The endeavor is being spearheaded by Qatar Museums and Qatar University, with help from Canada’s York University and Italy’s culture ministry.

It is unique in that most historical research to date in Qatar has focused on land, not water.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As a peninsula, Qatar is surrounded by water on three sides of the country. The sea proved to be its first source of income, as people went pearl diving to survive.

This is no longer the case, but Qatar’s waters still hold many mysteries.

They are teeming with marine life, including fish, dugongs and other animals, and are also home to some coral reefs.

Through this project, researchers hope to find out more about the country’s past, and connect it to the future, QU President Dr. Hassan bin Rashid Al Derham said.

Digital archive

During the first phase of the project, local and international experts will explore the archaeological characteristics of the sea.

Qatari divers will also be invited to participate in the project, which aims to establish a baseline of information on Qatar’s marine history.

Jun Ong/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As the study nears completion, researchers will produce recordings of all the underwater archeological sites in Qatar. They will also map their locations and list whether they can be accessed by the public.

A digital archive mapping underwater culture heritage sites is also being planned, using “advanced remote sensor technology,” QM said in a statement.

Finally, more information will be provided about breeding and fishing seasons, and other aspects of Qatar’s current marine life.


R. Nial Bradshaw/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s drinking water may be safe from chemicals and bacteria, but it can still make you sick, a public health professor has warned this month.

As a desert nation, Qatar has very little available fresh water.

At least half of its water supply comes from the sea through a salt-removal process called desalination. This water is what we have in our homes.

But the problem with this type of “synthetic” water is that it lacks essential minerals needed by the body, asserts Dr. Jerome Nriagu.

Qatar Electricity and Water Co.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

He is Professor Emeritus at the School of Public Health and Research and the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan.

Nriagu presented his concerns at a Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) workshop last week.

Speaking to Doha News, he explained:

“By constantly drinking water with low potassium and magnesium, you increase the risk of getting obesity and hypertension, and (certain) metabolic disorders.”

Health problems

Currently, desalinated water in Qatar and other countries undergoes a post-treatment process to make it less corrosive.

Otherwise, it would not be able to travel safely through pipes to reach our taps.

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

But according to Nriagu, officials should also be adding essential minerals to the water to help ward off health problems in the population.

“We’re not getting enough from our foods to start with, and now drinking (this type of) water compounds the problem,” he said.

Over the summer, the professor co-authored newly published research about the subject.

The paper focused on the health effects of desalinated water on cancer development, but Nriagu clarified to Doha News that “we’re not saying it’s linked to cancer, it’s linked to the hormones that cause cancer.”

WHO recommendations

His research builds on previous concerns raised by others about low-mineral drinking water.

The World Health Organization (WHO) for example has previously warned:

“In addition to an increased risk of sudden death, it has been suggested that intake of water low in magnesium may be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders (so-called preeclampsia), sudden death in infants, and some types of cancer.

Recent studies suggest that the intake of soft water, i.e. water low in calcium, is associated with a higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer.”

WHO has also urged authorities to adopt mineral guidelines for home treatment devices and bottled water.

Nriagu said households that rely on these sources for their drinking water can face “exactly the same” issues as when drinking straight from the tap.

Public perceptions

Many residents here continue to favor drinking bottled water because they are worried about the quality of Qatar’s tap water.

Some also install filters on their kitchen faucets and shower heads for fear of ill health effects from rusting pipes and unhygienic storage tanks.

Lora Rajah/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, last year, QEERI announced results of new research that found Qatar’s tap water is more than safe to drink.

At the time, researchers told Doha News that local samples fell below maximum thresholds set out by WHO.

“We didn’t see leachate from the piping or the (storage) containers – even in the hot months,” public health researcher Candace Rowell said.

Nriagu conceded that Qatar’s water is “not toxic,” but added “if you look on the deficiency side, then you can see (it) is not healthy.”

He added that once authorities commit to adding the necessary minerals to desalinated water, the change is easy to implement.

“We don’t need new technology to do it.”