Research shows that with the current rate of consumption, water availability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will decrease 50 percent before 2050 due to the growing population. This will force an increase of dependence on desalination plants.
Scientists in Qatar are doing extensive research on this matter and others of national and international interest, with the support of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Dr Hazim Qiblawey, from the Department of Chemical Engineering of Qatar University (QU), along with other researchers, presented the results of his study at the Qatar Sustainability Expo.
Qiblawey explained the operation of desalination plants, which use saline water, in a process that consumes energy and produces both fresh water and unwanted water. The author of the study said that this process generates emissions that contribute to climate change, having also an impact in marine life.
On this basis, he recommended users to be more careful with water consumption. The use of water in the MENA region is 15 million cubic meters per day, while in Qatar its 1 million cubic meters per day.
Mohamed Ahmedina, also professor at QU, talked about the country’s waste. Qatar produces 2.5m tons of solid waste a year, of which 60 percent are organic.
This waste is disposed of in landfills. In a small country, this becomes a problem due to the small landmass limiting factor.
Nevertheless, for Ahmedina, “disposal of waste is both a need and an opportunity”. This is the basis of his study ‘Biochars from Solid Organic Waste for Soil Quality, Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration’.
Among motivations to implement Biochar Environmental Remediation, he cited waste management, energy production and soil improvement. While some of the benefits of this technique are that it enhances fertility soil and reduces pressure on landfills.