Water worries plague Middle East

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates consume the most water per capita in the world and disregard the consequences of their water usage, a report says.

U.S.-based Booz & Co. said some two-thirds of water used in the region is desalinated, costing around $1 per cubic meter, but green golf courses and grassy parks make residents think that water is not scarce in the region.


"There is a general lack of awareness in the region, largely because of subsidies that disguise actual costs and obscure the severity of the situation," Walid Fayad, a Beirut-based partner in Booz & Co.'s energy, chemicals and utilities practice, in a statement.

The report comes as the UAE faces worries of water shortages and overuse with UAE Environment and Water Minster Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd saying climate change and increasing stresses on water resources are a concern, reported Monday.

Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, announced last week an inaugural International Water Summit would take place in the UAE capital next year.

The Middle East and North Africa account for 6.3 percent of the world's population but possess only 1.4 percent of the globe's fresh water supply.


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