Manama: Kuwait has the highest water consumption level in the world with a daily use of around 500 litres per capita, more than double the average international rate, a Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) official said.

Khalid Al Barrak, the head of KISR's Water Science Department, said that such a consumption level was irrational and that it was eroding the government's efforts to prevent the ominous waste of the invaluable resource, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports.

"A reduction of five per cent in overall consumption levels would help save a huge amount of water, around 18 million gallons per annum, equal to the amount processed annually by the Shuwaikh Desalination Plant. This means saving around KD 28 million ($101,250,000) annually," Al Barak said. "Kuwaitis have a huge responsibility to reduce water consumption rates."

The existence of projects for building more desalination facilities to meet public demand does not mean that consumption rates can rise without posing a serious risk to future water availability, he said.

"People should start reducing their individual water consumption rates immediately," Al Barak said. "Any emergency water plan should be based on self-awareness rather than just storing water supplies. Finding alternative methods to reduce water consumption levels whilst increasing reserves will benefit Kuwait and KISR is actively working on devising such strategies," he said.