MANAMA: A member of the Kuwaiti parliament Hamdan Al-Azmi yesterday called for protecting water resources in the GCC and minimizing dependence on desalinated water. Waters in the Arabian Gulf have been contaminated due to excessive usage of fertilizers and pesticides, thus hiking treatment costs, the Kuwaiti MP said, speaking at a forum held by the Bahraini parliament on “concerns for water and food security in the GCC states.” He called for the implementation of guidelines by the World Bank on employing modern irrigation technology, using salty water for irrigation and growing new plant species that need less water and rationalizing consumption.
Moreover, GCC governments should adopt scientific research to find alternative resources, he suggested. NGOs and civil societies should be involved in the governments’ approach for coping with water scarcity. Annual water consumption per capita in the GCC is estimated at 150 cubic meters, “putting the region below the line of water poverty,” he opines. He mentioned another challenge at this level, population growth, fearing that the per capita share might drop to 50 cm by 2050. – KUNA