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Task force to examine Gulf desal pollution

Bahrain offers to host first meeting in early 2010

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Bahrain's minister for electricity and water, Fahmi Al Jowder, has offered to host the first meeting of the task force next year.
Bahrain's minister for electricity and water, Fahmi Al Jowder, has offered to host the first meeting of the task force next year.

A task force will be set up to consider the effects of pollution in the Arabian Gulf caused by the desalination industry, according to speakers at the launch ceremony of the International Desalination Association (IDA)’s World Congress.

The issue of pollution in the Gulf has been raised before, particularly in light of the fact that water exchange in the inland sea is only full exchanged every eight or nine years, according to some experts.

Discussions over the make-up of the committee will take place during the desalination industry’s marquee annual event, which is taking place at Dubai’s Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah this week.

The move was backed by GCC ministers present at the launch, who agreed that further action was needed in order to safeguard the industry in the region.

“Concentrated brines from these plants are discharged into the oceans without full treatment, which is of growing concern,” Bahrain’s Minister of Electricity and Water, Fahmi Bin Ali Al Jowder told delegates.

“There is a necessity to provide strict legislation on the discharge of effluent from desalination facilities.”

“In this context, we at the Electricity and Water Authority would be happy to hold the first meeting of the task force in Bahrain, and propose that this meeting should be held in the first part of 2010,” Al Jowder added.

Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, the UAE Minister of Environment and Water, criticised what he described as “irresponsible practices in some sectors”, and added that water demand in different sectors was expected to increase from five to seven billion cubic metres by 2020.

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