Deeper Thinking: Technology Helps Region Recycle Scarce Water Resources
The Middle East is one of the most water scarce regions in the world; yet a number of factors, including high agricultural commodity prices and food security concerns, are encouraging big growth in their domestic food industries. Global consultancy Frost & Sullivan reports that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE, are some of the most active in this area.
However, these countries need to balance a constrained supply of fresh water with the desire to grow more of their own food. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that countries will look to do this by investing heavily in water and wastewater treatment systems within the food and agriculture industry.
In fact, GCC governments have allocated more than $100 billion for investment in the water sector between 2011 and 2016 to improve desalination technologies and water networking, and to focus more on wastewater treatment and recycling, says Frost & Sullivan.
During the recent Water Arabia 2013 Conference & Exhibition held in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia in early February, GE presented its broad industry leading portfolio of water and process treatment solutions, including its latest innovations in water reuse, pre-engineered systems, build-own-operate and mobile water.
GE representatives also talked with customers and potential customers about thermal and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technology, electrodialysis reversal, wastewater and membrane chemicals, support services and monitoring systems.
Participants showed great interest in treating both municipal and industrial wastewater to a high standard for reuse, alleviating the demand for limited fresh water supplies. Delegates were also fascinated about the technologies that enable ZLD, eliminating liquid waste streams from facilities and producing high purity water for reuse, in industrial and difficult-to-treat water settings. GE representatives were able to provide references on in-country and nearby facilities at oil & gas, refinery, petrochemical and municipal installations.