In 2003, the total quantity of desalinated water used was 102.4 million cubic meter against 44.1 million cubic meters in the year 1991. In 2005, treated wastewater amounted to about 62 million cubic meters per year of the wastewater (secondary treatment) against the 45 million cubic meters in 1991.Despite the 100% increase compared to the year 1991, only 16.3 million cubic meters per year received a tertiary treatment and a part was used for irrigation purposes in government farms and some private farms. The rest of the water was discharged into the sea. The tertiary treated water constitutes chemical and hygienic properties that are within the international limits and are considered good for agricultural purposes. The government has plans to fully utilize the Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) water through major agricultural projects; however, constant delays and lack of funds for these projects have greatly restricted its usage. As of 2015, the desalination market in Bahrain was worth USD X.X billion. The market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of XX.XX%.
The depleting natural precipitation and ground-water levels and increasing population are the major drivers of the sector in the region. A continued effort at increasing diversification of government income from hydrocarbons is another factor that has led to an increase in construction projects, industries, manufacturing plants, etc., leading to more demand for fresh water. Moreover, the government is supporting and encouraging the establishment of desalination plants to meet the nation’s demands.
Restraints and Challenges
The biggest challenge of desalination is the cost. As per a study, the cost of desalinated water per meter cube was USD 1.04, 0.95 and 0.82 for MSF, MED, and RO, assuming a fuel cost of USD 1.5/ GJ. Moreover, energy accounts for approximately three-fourths of the supply cost of desalination. Transportation cost is also added to the overall cost, making desalination a very costly process. Another negative impact of desalination is on the environment with the treatment of brackish water leading to pollution of fresh water resources and soil. Discharge of salt on coastal or marine ecosystems also has a negative impact.
Bahrain’s government intends to make desalination the source of 100% public potable water supply. The government has upgraded the four existing plants and their capacities. Moreover, it is inviting more and more foreign investments in the region to keep up with the domestic needs that are continuously on the rise due to an increase in the number of construction projects, manufacturing industries, etc.
About the Market