MEED magazine reported that the increasing scarcity of water in most parts of the Middle East and North Africa region reinforces trends to increase investments in the field of water and its sources in order to enhance the capacity and efficiency of this sector, reports Al-Anba daily.

The magazine pointed out that water scarcity may constitute an obstacle to spending on major projects aimed at improving economic performance in the region instead of increasing water desalination and treatment capacity to meet the growing demand in a more sustainable manner, as well as water transportation pipeline projects to reduce water loss and improve sanitation.

Other projects, such as reservoirs and district cooling, are also emerging as national and municipal governments work to improve water security and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

Contracts worth about $22 billion were awarded between January and November 2023, about double the value of the previous year’s awards, according to Med Projects data that tracks regional projects. Saudi Arabia accounted for 43% of the total contracts awarded, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 23%.

In terms of non-awarded contracts in the field of water transportation projects, the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked first and second with $10.75 billion and $9.986 billion, respectively, and Oman and Qatar ranked third and fourth with projects worth $1.823 billion and $1.35 billion respectively. Respectively, Kuwait came in fifth place with $660 million, and finally Bahrain with projects worth $240 million.

Water transmission and pipeline projects represent about 35% of the planned and non-awarded projects, followed by water desalination and wastewater treatment plant projects, each with a share of about 25%.

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