Water Distillation In Kuwait

Water Distillation In Kuwait

In view of the scant natural fresh water resources< Kuwait since founded has to look other sources to secure potable water requirement. Kuwait, in the past relied mainly on rain water found near the surface in shallow wells. But due to the growth of population that scant source became no longer sufficient to cater for the growing demand. So at the turn pf the last century, Kuwait turned to Shaat Al- Arab for fresh water supply brought by dhows, and a primitive stage and distribution network was established. Matters remained the same until the influx of oil wealth when the first oil shipment was effected in 1946. Kuwait, thus had the funds necessary to invest in modern water production facilities that could cater for fresh water demand. In the early fifties, a plan was endorsed to establish sea water desalination plant. At the outset, the conventional method i.e. submerged tube technique was employed. That method proved very costly and inefficient. However, when a foreign company, introduced a new method of using flash type technique. Kuwait was the first to adopt it and that same company was awarded the construction of the first facility in the Gulf area. In fact, before the end of fifties, the first (4 x 12/ MIG) units were operational. That method was a success rendering better production less space and incurred substantial saving on operation and maintenance costs.

Thus Kuwait look the lead in up-grading the specifications and ordering bigger units. A (1 x 1 MIG) unit plant was erected in early sixties, then a (1 x 2 MIGD) before the end of the decade. Finally, in early seventies, the multi-stage flash type method was approved where upon 5 MIGD units were introduced followed by 6 MIGD units subsequently. However, from an engineering and economic point of view the size of 6 MIGD units proved ideal in terms of steam consumption and chemicals and gave optimal production. Hence, it became the backbone of fresh water industry in Kuwait. A look at production capacity and mean daily consumption figures as mentioned below shows the degree of effort put in, which translates the funds allotted by the Government to build a production capacity demand to be one of the world’s largest installations of its kind.

Due to the Iraqi Occupation, the installed capacity of distillation plants decreased to 216 MIG. After repairing of 3 distillers (D1 , D2 & D3) each capacity of 6.5 MIGD at Shuwaikh Station and increase capacity of some distillers at Doha West and Az-Zour South Station as well as addition of new distiller at Az-Zour Station and at Sabiya station, the total installed capacity of all distillation plants has reached to 423.1 MIG/PD.

Production & Distribution Key Indicators Year


Installed capacity (MIG)

Daily Average Gross Consumption (MIG)

















Over the past five decades, The Ministry has not neglected to study and explore other techniques for fresh water production. However, the main objective of Water Development Resources Center in Shuwaikh was to study and evaluated alternative methods in addition to their operational and economic feasibility.

This huge quantitative evolution which over the last four decades has raised production by sixty four fold would not without fail have been achieved, but to satisfy the demand for fresh water, the mainstay of life. The provision of this water in addition to electricity are the two prime movers of construction and demographic growth seen now in Kuwait. He who follows consumption figures will immediately notic that mean per capita consumption has risen from 4851 IG in the year 1960 to 9252 IG in 1970 then to 16734 IG in 1980 and 29583 in 1992 then to 39631 IG in 2000 and finally mean per capita consumption reached to 37759 IG in 2009. This per Capita figures is considered one of the highest known in the world.

About fresh water consumption rate of growth. According to statistical data. There has been favorable downward trend in growth rate until the end of eighties then it started increasing during nineties.

Finally, it can be deduced from statistical data available in this statistical abstract that fresh water per capita statistical have reached more or reached more or less saturation levels. This implies that increase in demand will come from new consumers or change in the pattern statistical.

Reference : Water, Statistical year Book 2010, Ministry Of Electricity & Water - State Of Kuwait