Water security is a key issue in the Middle East region, and climate change is pushing countries to move more towards desalination projects, according to Fady Juez, managing director of Metito.
Metito is a provider of total intelligent water management solutions, and tries to ensure long-term security to build a more sustainable future for the populations and industries in the Middle East and Africa.
According to Juez, to establish desalination plants in the Middle East, "there’s a lot of work and money required".
“Desalination is a costly exercise. It used to be very costly before, both in terms of money and power. But through a lot of investment in technology and developments, we’ve managed to reduce this cost, to become compatible to more traditional approaches, and also to reduce the power consumption. Now, we're coupling it with solar and renewables,” Juez said.
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world. Juez said: “At one time, 50% of the desalination plants in the world were in Saudi. But now they have reduced. Not that they have stopped building but other parts of the world have invested in larger desalination plans, for example, the UAE, Oman, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Spain, and the whole world are moving toward desalination.”
Juez said that despite the huge cost for building desalination plants, the need for such plants has increased. He said: “Climate change has a lot to do with this. Also, the need for fresh water has increased tremendously, not only because of population increase, but also with industrialization. So water is much more required. Obviously, we’re combating that with desalination. But like I said, we're also competing it by reusing and recycling the water that we’ve used so that we can reduce the pressure on the fresh water requirements.”