Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf a Memorandum of Understanding on Integrated Water Resources Management in Bahrain.
The MoU, signed for the first time virtually, aims to promote the optimal use of natural resources, including water resources. It is in line with the decisions of the Water Resources Council, headed by Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, on maximizing the utilization and sustainability of water resources in the Kingdom.
Shaikh Mohamed said the MoU would combine efforts and help to exchange experiences that will contribute to the achievement of the national strategy for integrated water resource management that includes the conservation of water resources and ways to maximize their utilization and rationalize their exploitation.
Shaikh Mohammed stressed the engagement of the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) in expanding efforts and partnership for saving the water resources in accordance with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s vision and guidance and HM’s emphasis on the need to develop processes to ensure water and food security. NOGA’s commitment is also in line with the directives of the government to achieve the sustainability of natural resources specially the water, he added.
HM the King had praised the efforts of the Water Resource Council in supporting the efforts of ministries and government entities in all programs that support and boost water security in Bahrain.
Shaikh Mohammed said that NOGA, since the launch of its project with the Green Climate Fund in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program in October 2019 on enhancing climate resilience of the water sector in Bahrain, has implemented many initiatives and programs aimed at strengthening ways to conserve water.
Conservation is through the Water Resources Management Unit (WRM) that was established under the NOGA umbrella and under the supervision of the Water Resources Council, as the unit seeks to enhance the sustainability of water resources management.
Among the projects undertaken by the unit is the project of modeling the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources in Bahrain, in addition to benefiting from gray water, and comprehensive auditing of water management and use in Bahrain, as well as rainwater harvesting.
The MoU signed today complements these efforts and initiatives, he added.
The oil minister emphasized that a prominent aspect of the MoU is cooperating in refining the skills of personnel working in the field of water and developing their capabilities in order to enable them to fulfil the set goals in achieving national aspirations in the field of water conservation.
Khalaf welcomed cooperation and partnership with NOGA to promote the optimal use of natural resources, especially water, and stressed that the ministry has an environmental strategic dimension for water conservation and the development of alternative water for the sake of sustainability and as a security and national source for future generations.
The ministry has taken radical and important steps in the field of benefiting from wastewater treatment in implementation of policies that aim to create a balance between available water and future demand in order to achieve the objectives of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, he added.
He pointed out that the ministry, since 2004, has initiated the delivery of triple treated water to farms in the western region of the Kingdom for reuse in irrigation, and that the construction of the Muharraq sewage treatment plant contributed to treating 85,000 cubic meters per day.
He pointed out to the ministry’s recent operation of the treated water line from the North Sitra station to the Umm Al Hassam area, and the utilization of the treated water produced from the plant, estimated at about 14,500 cubic meters per day, in cosmetic agriculture in the Manama area.
The minister said that cooperation would be fruitful in the field of utilizing rainwater, gray water, accompanying water, and treated water as well, as alternative sources by working to provide regulatory requirements in buildings and to study all technical and health aspects to benefit from treated water in the industrial and agricultural fields and aquifer recharge.
The MoU aims to cooperate and contribute to building and strengthening the capabilities of institutions and technicians concerned with treated water in Bahrain.
It also aims to boost cooperation in a comprehensive audit on the management and optimal use of water in the agricultural, municipal and industrial sectors, building a database on groundwater, and cooperating in the field of recharging groundwater with treated water.
The MoU calls for exchanging experiences, cooperating and coordinating with relevant stakeholders to develop principles and issue a guide for quality standards for treated wastewater for various uses and sectors, depending on the results of the biological and chemical analyzes carried out by the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning.