Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources

Freshwater shortage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is posing a serious threat to economic growth, social cohesion, peace and political stability. Furthermore, today’s freshwater usage does not account for its present and future availability but rather is based on sectoral and geographical competing consumption needs. To make matters worse, this already dire situation is being exacerbated by the rapidly changing climate. Climate change affects water resources by its profound impact on water quantity, variability, timing, form, and intensity of precipitation. The MENA region, in particular, is highly vulnerable to the disruptive climate change effects because countries within this … Continue reading

Trash Talk from Doha

On arriving a few years ago from a town in the UK that boasts a university course in waste management, and a very efficient weekly recyclable waste collection from our houses, I was a bit shocked, like many Europeans by how difficult it was to recycle in Doha. Having had the moral obligation to recycle drummed into me since I was quite young, I felt guilty throwing away all my waste into one bin, destined to fill up a huge smelly hole in the desert, where it would take a long time, if not forever to biodegrade. The Real Picture … Continue reading

Understanding Qatar’s Ecological Footprint

Qatar’s environmental impact remains worryingly high. The country’s per capita ecological footprint is now the second highest in the world, as another Gulf state, Kuwait, has overtaken it to become the worst offender of the 152 countries that were measured, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report 2014. The third country in the list is the UAE, with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, in 33rd position. By comparing the total footprint with the planet’s biocapacity – its capacity to generate an ongoing supply of renewable resources and to absorb waste -the report, based on 2010 … Continue reading

Carbon Capture and Storage: Prospects in GCC

Gulf Cooperation Council countries are burgeoning economies which are highly dependent on hydrocarbons to fuel their needs for economic growth. GCC nations are fully aware of the mounting consequences of increasing levels of CO­2 on the environment, mainly attributed to soaring energy demand of domestic and industrial sector. Regional countries are undertaking concrete steps and measures to reduce their carbon footprint through the introduction of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Among other options, Carbon Capture and Storage, popularly known as CCS, can be an attractive proposition for GCC nations. What is CCS Carbon capture and storage (or carbon capture and sequestration) … Continue reading

Green Buildings and the Middle East

The Middle East region faces a unique set of challenges in terms of sustainable buildings and cities. For example, water shortage is mitigated by costly desalination and we are faced with high water consumption which leads to a higher carbon footprint and ultimately impacts climate change. Middle Eastern countries are at the top of the list of largest per capita ecological footprints. Qatar has the highest per capita level of carbon dioxide emissions, at 44 metric tons per person annually. Kuwait is second with 30.3 tons, followed by the UAE with 22.6. Therefore, integrating energy efficiency is a critical need. Benefits of Green … Continue reading

Water Conservation Strategies for Middle East

To deal with freshwater management challenges in the Middle East, it is important to bring a balance between both water supply and demand side. This can be done by employing strategies to increase water efficiency and conservation. Water conservation strategies for the Middle East include reducing the use of potable water where possible, find alternative source of water for various water usage and increase the water efficiency of fixtures and equipments.  Efficient strategies along with water monitoring that tracks water consumption and identifies problems can significantly reduce both indoor and outdoor water consumption in water-scarce GCC countries like UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and … Continue reading

إدارة النفايات الصلبة في قطر

تعتبر إدارة النفايات البلدية الصلبة أحد أخطر و أصعب التحديات التي تواجهها جميع البلدان في الشرق الأوسط. و قد أدت عوامل عديدة في زيادة تراكم هذه النفايات الصلبة على أرجاء المنطقة. و من هذه العوامل على سبيل المثال إرتفاع معدل النمو السكاني، المدنية، الهجرة، النمو السريع في المجال الصناعي والتوسع الاقتصادي أيضآ. فمن المثير للإهتمام، أن معدل النفايات الصلبة التي تنتج من الشخص الواحد في دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي تعد الأعلى نسبة في العالم. و قد أدى هذا الإرتفاع في حجم النفايات الصلبة إلى خلق بيئة غير صحية لسكان منطقة الشرق الأوسط. حيث قدر حجم هذه النفايات ب 150 مليون طن سنويا.   النفايات البلدية الصلبة … Continue reading

Gas Flaring and Venting in MENA: Need for Urgent Action

Every year global oil producers waste precious natural gas by flaring and venting equivalent to the combined gas consumption of Central and South America. The top twenty major gas flaring and venting countries in the world include Russia, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Venezuela, Qatar, Algeria, the United States, Kuwait, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Congo, the United Kingdom, and Gabon. Gas flaring and venting have been known to be associated with crude oil processing in oil fields. Newer oil wells are equipped for the recovery of both oil well gas and crude oil and hence the gas … Continue reading

Environmental Education: Key to a Better Future

Tomorrow's leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow's challenges, and we must adequately prepare our children for the future they will inherit. As climate change is being felt across the globe and its long term catastrophic impacts have never been so scientifically clear, environmental education is the key to a better future. In an era where more and more children are disconnected from nature, we should recognize the importance of making a real investment in environmental education and outdoor learning. Studies have shown environmental education engages students in learning, raising test scores, and encouraging youth to pursue career in environmental and … Continue reading

Waste Management Outlook for Qatar

Qatar is counted among the world’s fastest growing economies as well as richest countries in the world. The rapid industrialization of the country and high population growth generates a lot of wastes in the form of municipal wastes, construction & demolition debris, industrial wastes etc. Annual solid waste generation in Qatar has crossed 2.5 million tons, which corresponds to daily waste generation of more than 7,000 tons per day. The country has one of the highest per capita waste generation worldwide which ranges from 1.6 to 1.8 kg per day. Solid Waste Management Scenario Solid waste is mainly comprised of organic … Continue reading

Qatar’s Fight Against Climate Change

Qatar's environmental records have always been in news, of course for the negative ones, but it has always strived to work towards reduction of GHGs emissions. Qatar is already doing plenty to help poor countries with financing and it seems unfair to focus on per capita emissions for a country with estimated population of 2.27 million making it the 143th most populous country on earth. (For climate talks, that is heresy). This may sound harsh, especially since Qatar's contribution to global warming is tiny compared with the United States, China or India. In recent years, Qatar is making itself a benchmark … Continue reading

Waste Awareness in Qatar: A Survey

Waste awareness in Qatar has gained traction in recent years, but more efforts are required to make the masses aware about the consequences of reckless waste generation and disposal, and how sustainable living practices and recycling can help in making Qatar a truly sustainable nation. Below is the outcome of an interesting survey on waste awareness which was conducted among Qataris and non-Qataris (expatriates). Plastic is the most common waste generated in a typical household in Qatar. One-third of overall respondents say that of all products, the volume of the plastic waste generated is higher, followed by food waste (19%) … Continue reading

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