Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director at the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and former Chief Economist at the Dubai International Finance Centre, penned a compelling op-ed in The National earlier this week on the water shortage crisis in the MENA region. You can read the full article here. In brief:
- Water shortage is a global problem, but it is particularly acute in the MENA region, which contains 6.3% of the world’s population but only 1.4% of the world’s renewable fresh water.
- What’s worse is that the region is already using 75% of its available renewable water supplies due to rapidly increasing population, urbanisation and economic growth.
- Another issue is that the desalination that does take place is costly, energy intensive and leads to environmental degradation because its mostly powered by fossil fuels.
- The key is to wed renewable energy and desalination – in the MENA region, solar power looks like a promising solution.