Kuwait invests $5.28bn in water projects

Updated 25 August 2013

Kuwait invests $5.28bn in water projects

Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) recently published the executive summary of its report on Kuwait water. In this report, Markaz examines and analyzes the current status of Kuwait water sector. The report highlights the demand, supply and investment trends in the sector. The report also presents the Kuwait water projects scenario, market structure and tariffs and a SWOT analysis of the Kuwait water sector.
The total investment in Kuwait’s water sector between 2005 and 2014 stands at $5.28 billion. Of all water sector investments, water treatment plants saw highest investment at $3.4 billion. In 2010 many projects were undertaken and finished. The construction of Sabiya distillation plants projects Stage I & Stage II, Shuaiba north distillation plants and Shuwaikh Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant took place.
The construction of Az-Zour North Distillation Plant Project is a huge and much awaited one in Kuwait. The purpose of this project is to supply and erect 15 multi stages flash distillation units each of 17 MIGPD capacity with a recarbonation plant, in addition to one Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant having 25 MIGPD capacity, that is having total capacity of 280 MIGPD for the plant.
Kuwait recorded the highest water consumption per capita per day and the value was 500 liters. In terms of its water withdrawal, Kuwait seems to be low at 374 m3 per year per capita, but the availability of renewable water resources stands at 7 m3 per year per capita, which is also very low compared to its GCC peers.
Potable water is mainly consumed by municipalities as potable water finds its use among residential places. Potable water consumption in 2011 stood at 128,236 MIG (million imperial gallons). Municipalities are mainly urban cities and the urban population in Kuwait is increasing rapidly. With increasing population and changing usage trends, the consumption of potable water is estimated to be 142,230 MIG in 2015. This value highlights the heat of demand for fresh water in near future.
Agriculture is also a major sector that withdraws substantial amount of water. Sulaibha farms are government owned farms, which are supplied with brackish water. Brackish water is highly saline, which is not suitable for municipal consumption. Brackish water consumed in 2011 stands at 19,265 MIG. Though the arable land in hectares has decreased from 12 to 11 from 2002 to 2008, the crop produce has been exhibiting increasing trend. The crop production index, which is produced by keeping cultivated land area constant, has shown an increasing trend between 2008 and 2011. These all indicate the possibilities for an increase in withdrawal of water by agriculture sector.
On supply side, there are very little internal renewable water resources. The annual precipitation is very meager when compared to the prevailing demand. Desalination and sewage treatment plants are the alternative sources of water. Total desalination capacity as of 2010 is around 423.1 MIGD (million imperial gallons per day). Sewage treatment plants are taken care by Ministry of Public Works. Sulaibha facility is the only plant producing RO treated wastewater as of 2011.
MEW (Ministry of Electricity & Water) owns and operates all existing power and water production facilities, transmission networks and distribution systems in Kuwait and sells electricity and water. Water tariffs are categorized based on type of consumer. It is just 0.02 Kuwait dinar (KD) per 1,000 gallons for Sulaibha farms and it is 0.85 KD for state facilities and companies.


‘Bad math’: Airlines’ COVID-19 safety analysis challenged by expert

Updated 19 October 2020

‘Bad math’: Airlines’ COVID-19 safety analysis challenged by expert

  • Key assertion about the improbability of catching COVID-19 on planes was based on ‘bad math’
  • ‘Long flights ... can provide conditions for superspreader events’

PARIS: A campaign by coronavirus-stricken aviation giants to persuade the world it’s safe to fly has been questioned by one of the scientists whose research it draws upon.
Dr. David Freedman, a US infectious diseases specialist, said he declined to take part in a recent presentation by global airline body IATA with planemakers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer that cited his work.
While he welcomed some industry findings as “encouraging,” Freedman said a key assertion about the improbability of catching COVID-19 on planes was based on “bad math.”
Airlines and planemakers are anxious to restart international travel, even as a second wave of infections and restrictions take hold in many countries.
The Oct. 8 media presentation listed in-flight infections reported in scientific studies or by IATA airlines – and compared the tally with total passenger journeys this year.
“With only 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travelers, that’s one case for every 27 million,” IATA medical adviser Dr. David Powell said in a news release, echoed in comments during the event.
IATA said its findings “align with the low numbers reported in a recently published peer-reviewed study by Freedman and Wilder-Smith.”
But Freedman, who co-authored the paper in the Journal of Travel Medicine with Dr. Annelies Wilder-Smith of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he took issue with IATA’s risk calculation because the reported count bore no direct relation to the unknown real number of infections.
“They wanted me at that press conference to present the stuff, but honestly I objected to the title they had put on it,” the University of Alabama academic said.
“It was bad math. 1.2 billion passengers during 2020 is not a fair denominator because hardly anybody was tested. How do you know how many people really got infected?” he said. “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
IATA believes its calculation remains a “relevant and credible” sign of low risk, a spokesman said in response to requests for comment from the industry body and its top medic Powell.
“We’ve not claimed it’s a definitive and absolute number.”
Wilder-Smith could not be immediately reached for comment.
While the pandemic has seen some airlines leave middle seats empty to reassure customers, the industry has opposed making such measures mandatory.
Plane cabins are considered lower-risk than many indoor spaces because of their powerful ventilation and their layout, with forward-facing passengers separated by seat rows. Ceiling-to-floor airflows sweep pathogens into high-grade filters.
That understanding is supported by simulations and tests run by the aircraft makers as well as a US Defense Department study released on Thursday.
The joint presentation with all three manufacturers signaled a rare closing of ranks among industrial archrivals, behind a message designed to reassure.
Sitting beside an infected economy passenger is comparable to seven-foot distancing in an office, Boeing tests concluded, posing an acceptably low risk with masks. Standard health advice often recommends a six-foot separation.
Airbus showed similar findings, while Embraer tested droplet dispersal from a cough. Some 0.13 percent by mass ended up in an adjacent passenger’s facial area, falling to 0.02 percent with masks.
Dr. Henry Wu, associate professor at Atlanta’s Emory School of Medicine, said the findings were inconclusive on their own because the minimum infective dose remains unknown, and risks increase in step with exposure time.
“It’s simply additive,” said Wu, who would prefer middle seats to be left empty. “A 10-hour flight will be 10 times riskier than a one-hour flight.”
Nonetheless, a commercial jet cabin is “probably one of the safer public settings you can be in,” he added. “Sitting at a crowded bar for a few hours is going to be much riskier.”
Scientists are poring over dozens of on-board infection cases, as well as flights with contagious passengers but no known transmission.
In March, 11 infectious passengers on a five-hour Sydney-Perth flight passed the virus to 11 others, according to a paper in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
Among those infected, two were seated three rows away from a contagious passenger and one was six rows away, suggesting that typical two-row contact-tracing might have missed them.
One sufferer on a 10-hour London-Hanoi flight the same month infected 16 others including 12 in her business-class cabin, according to a study by Vietnamese and Australian academics.
“Long flights ... can provide conditions for superspreader events,” the study said, adding that its findings “challenge” the airlines’ assertion that on-board distancing is unnecessary.
IATA points out that many of the flights examined by scientists in published studies occurred before mask-wearing became widespread and reduced infection risks.
Its presentation conceded that the 1-in-27 million statistic “may be an underestimate,” while maintaining that in-flight infections remained less likely than a lightning strike, even if only 10 percent of actual cases had made the count.
“That’s misleading,” Emory’s Wu said. “Thinking about how hard it is to identify them, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s far less than 1 percent. The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s a fantastic underestimate.”