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Gulf salinity crisis not man-made, says expert

Palm Water MD denies claims that sector is to blame for salt levels

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Imad Haffar, managing director of Palm Water.
Imad Haffar, managing director of Palm Water.

A prominent industry executive has rubbished claims made by a local newspaper that man-made factors are a major contributor towards rising salinity in the Arabian Gulf.

“The increase in salinity in the water of the Gulf is not a man-made phenomenon,” said Dr Imad Haffar, managing director of Palm Water, who was speaking to utilities-me.com.

“This is a natural process that is due to global warming and evaporation from the ocean. It’s a problem in this region, especially as the Gulf is confined and the water supply is limited.”

The executive added that rising salinity was a concern to Palm Water because it led to a requirement for more equipment, higher energy consumption and greater cost.

“Of course desalination plants contribute to salinity to some extent, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the natural phenomena,” Haffar continued.

“That contribution is also very localised. In general terms, the rising rate of salinity is something that we have no control over.”

A full interview with Dr Haffar will be published in the October issue of Utilities Middle East.

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