Manama: Qatar's water consumption has tripled in the last seven years, the energy and industry ministry and chairman of the Permanent Committee on Water Resources has said.

Mohammad Bin Saleh Al Sada attributed the increase to the rising population and to the expansion of urbanization.

"Qatar is recycling almost one quarter of its fresh water as compared with 15% in other Gulf countries," Al Sada said as he addressed the opening session of a seminar on water challenges facing Qatar.

Per capita consumption of water in Qatar is 460 liters per day, one of the highest in the world, and the production of desalinated water in Qatar doubled four times over the past two decades, the minister said, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

According to the official, desalinated water constituted most of the water used in the country.

The scarcity of rainfall was also a formidable challenge, he said.

"Rainfall between November and March, reached an average of 80 millimeters annually, as compared with a rate of natural evaporation of 2000 millimeters. This puts Qatar in a real deficit and pushes the country towards relying heavily on sea water desalination to offset the deficit," Al Sada said.

Qatari authorities have been pushing for solutions under the 2030 National Vision to meet the increasing demand for water.

New initiatives include establishing new desalination plants, better water management, optimal use of groundwater and setting up water treatment plants.

Qatar has launched a food security project that relies on sustainable water resources. Treated water constitutes 15% of the water used in irrigation, QNA said.