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The Middle East and Africa expects $133bn worth of water and sewage projects

There are projects worth $29.1 billion in the pre-planning stage, while those in the planning stage have a value of $4.9 billion, according to a report by Research and Markets.

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Dealination, Sewage

The total pipeline of water and sewage construction projects coming across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is estimated at around $133.2 billion, with $19.1 billion spent this year and $30.8 billion in 2020, according to a report by Research and Markets.

The highest value of projects are at the execution stage with a total value of $58.8 billion, followed by projects in pre-execution with $40.3 billion, said Research and Markets in its "Project Insight - Water and Sewage Construction Projects: MEA" report.

There are projects worth $29.1 billion in the pre-planning stage, while those in the planning stage have a value of $4.9 billion, it added.

Assuming all projects in the current pipeline proceed as planned, spending will hit $30.8 billion next year and fall to $7.3 billion in 2023. The highest value of project completions will be in 2021, with a value of $28.7 billion, according to Research and Markets.

The desalination plants projects account for the highest value with $52.7 billion dominated by top contractors in the region including Korea-based Hyundai Engineering Company and China's Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corporation.

The top consulting engineers are Lahmeyer International GmbH, based in Germany but part of Tractebel Engineering based in Belgium, and Amec Foster Wheeler (Wood Group), based in the UK, stated the report.

The MEA region includes the developing nations of Africa and the highly developed Gulf countries, with oil revenue to be spent on developing and improving water and sewage infrastructure, it said.

Rapid population and economic growth, shared water supplies across borders, and the effects of climate change - including frequent droughts, together with declining rainfall - have severely tested water supplies.

The desalination of seawater is common in the region, with the highest investment in Kuwait and Oman, with $17.6 billion and $11.8 billion respectively, said the report by Research and Markets.

The Mena region is responsible for 47 per cent of global desalination capacity, which has a large carbon footprint, given the amount of power required in the desalination process, it stated.

According to the report, Middle East and North Africa is the world's most water-scarce region, with 17 countries below the water poverty line set by the United Nations.

Apart from the economic damage that scarcity of water creates there are wider political implications due to potential sources of aggression with cross border disputes over water in the region.

The potential for wide scale epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of poor water supply and wastewater treatment is a constant threat in the region, it added

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