Unesco adviser urges Gulf countries to harvest rainwater

May 9, 2011

Qatar should start rainwater harvesting to meet the increasing demand for fresh water in the country, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) adviser has recommended.

“Though the process is very simple, rainwater harvesting is not being done anywhere in the Gulf,” Benno Boer, Unesco’s ecological science adviser in the Arab region, said. “If channels are fixed around the roofs of buildings, the runoff rainwater could be collected and stored in a fibre glass tank for later use,” he said, quoted by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

Rainwater harvesting has been practised in several countries across the world, for several years now, with the collected water stored in above ground and below ground tanks, he said.

“It has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation, as well as other typical uses given to water,” Boer said.

A study published in December warned that Gulf states, already among the poorest countries in natural water resources due to their desert nature, are expected to suffer from a severe water supply shortage in the long term as a result of the rapid growth in their population and the absence of rivers in the region.

The study, published in the Arab Oil and Cooperation quarterly magazine issued by the Kuwaiti-based Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), said that estimates show that the proven water resources in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Yemen do not exceed 262,600 million cubic metres while annual natural feedback does not exceed 1,540 million cubic metres.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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