The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority office, which is tasked to provide continuous and reliable water supply to Dubai residents. There have been suggestions to come up with one water grid for Gulf states, to meet growing demand. Image Credit: File photo

Abu Dhabi: Gulf countries are considering a regional water grid on the lines of electricity grid to meet the growing demand for water, a senior official from Kuwait’s ministry of electricity and water said in Abu Dhabi.

“The idea is to have all GCC countries connected with a grid. Kuwait is ready, Bahrain is ready and also Saudi Arabia,” said Iqbal Al Tayyar, director of technical supervision department at the Kuwait’s ministry of electricity and water.

Al Tayyar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Mena Desalination Projects Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

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Delegates at the first MENA Desalination Projects conference in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

She, however, did not give a timeline on the project and said they are waiting for an official agreement on this. “We are successful in the electricity grid and each country is encouraging to connect and they want to connect outside GCC as well as to European countries.”

The comments come as member countries in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) boost cooperation in various sectors to strengthen ties. Currently, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are undertaking a number of new projects including in finance, energy and defence.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al Falih announced earlier this year plans to develop the country’s gas resources and extending a grid to the UAE, Oman and Kuwait. “I am talking to my colleagues in Oman, Kuwait, UAE, about extending a gas grid in the region and we hope to exchange gas and we also have excess of gas which we will be exporting,” he said, while speaking at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Al Tayyar also said Kuwait has set a target of producing 990 million gallons per day of desalinated water by 2030 from the current capacity of 660 million gallons per day. The country is planning to start many projects in the next three years in partnership with private firms to increase water production.

Kuwait is also looking to use renewable energy in desalination plants with a capacity of 1500 megawatts and 5,000 megawatts, she added.

Meanwhile, Asam Al Mulla, manager of water department at the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) said they are planning to construct a desalination plant with a capacity of 60 million gallons per day by 2022 to meet the growing water demand in the emirate.

“The tenders for the plant will be out by 2020. It is a huge plant that will meet the growing demand for water as well as replace some of the existing plants,” he told reporters without disclosing the total cost involved in the project.

Current water capacity of Sharjah is 115 million gallons per day. The emirate is also considering incorporating renewable energy in the desalination water projects to reduce costs.