Water Resources Management

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 59–75 | Cite as

Water Resources in the GCC Countries: An Overview

  • Muhammad F. Al-Rashed
  • Mohsen M. Sherif


One of the critical problems that hinders thesustainable development in the Gulf CooperationCouncil (GCC) countries is the lack of renewable waterresources. Rainfall in the Arabian Peninsula is scarceand infrequent. Over-exploitation of fossilgroundwater resources, mostly to meet the irrigationdemands and create greenery lands, has alreadyaffected the aquifer's productivity bothquantitatively and qualitatively. A great portion ofthe freshwater demands in the GCC countries is coveredby desalinated water. Recently, after the Gulf war anduncertainty of oil prices, the expansion in theconstruction of desalination plants may not beeconomically feasible. This article investigates thewater availability and assesses the water demands inthe GCC countries. It emphasizes the need for theadaptation of an efficient and integrated policy forwater utilization and application of relevantconservation techniques in various water consumptionsectors. Water of higher quality should be preservedfor drinking purposes and should not be utilized forother purposes that may tolerate water of lowerquality. Recycling of water and artificial recharge ofgroundwater by surface water and treated wastewatershould be adapted at a larger scale.

assessment demands Gulf Cooperation Council management prediction water resources 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad F. Al-Rashed
    • 1
  • Mohsen M. Sherif
    • 1
  1. 1.Hydrology Department, Water Resources DivisionKuwait Institute for Scientific ResearchSafatKuwait

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