Water resources in Kuwait

Nowadays Treated sewage effluent is considered an alternative water source in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after coming into existence in the early seventies of the last century. The attention with treating sewage water rose after holding Kuwait’s policy for protecting marine gulf environment on April 24th 1978, which made Kuwait pioneer among GCC countries in the treatment of waste -sewage- water. The first water treatment plant in the GCC was established in 1971 which is the Ardiya plant located northwest of Kuwait city. By 2001 four water treatment plants exist in Kuwait treating water in the tertiary method, except Umm Al-Hayman plant which treats water in the quaternary method; the first of its kind in the GCC. The four plants have a production capacity of about 562,000 m2/day, while the treated sewage effluent is almost 354,000 m2/day (62.9% of the total production capacity of the treatment plants). In 2005 the giant Sulaibiya sewage effluent treatment plant was opened, joining in with the quaternary method for treating water. Below is a summary of the five plants:

1. Ardiya Plant

The Ardiya plant is the oldest of the stations, it was established in 1971 and remains the largest in terms of production capacity, with a 280,000 m2/day capacity (49.8% of the total energy of the four treatment plants). It treats the raw sewage of Kuwait city, and uses a portion of the treated water to supply the Sulaibiya agricultural irrigation project; a project specialized in the cultivation of fodder to serve dairy production livestock farms concentrated in Sulaibiya near Kuwait city where the majority of diary consumption exist. After the Sulaibiya station operates the Ardiya station will turn into wastewater collection center which will pump the waste water to Sulaibiya through 25km pipelines. 

2. Rigga Station

Was established in 1982 and its production capacity is 185,000 m2/day (32.9% of the total production capacity of the four stations). It treats southern regions’ raw sewage network (10th Area), which includes several areas such as Al-Ahmadi, Fahaheel, Mangaf, Fintas, Abu Halifa, Shuaiba and others. It is located in North Hadiya. 

3.  East Jahra Station

Was established in 1982 and its production capacity is 70,000 m2/day (12.45% of the total production capacity of the four stations). It treats northern regions’ raw sewage network which include areas like Jahra, Doha and others. 

4. Umm Al-Hayman Station

Was established in 2001 to serve recently developed residential areas of Umm Al-Hayman with an initial production capacity of about 27,000 m2/day. This plant is the first of its kind in the GCC due to its usage of Ultraviolet quaternary method for treating raw sewage water, which is considered the most advanced, healthy and environmentally suitable. The treated water from this plant can be safely used for crop irrigation including produce, which helps with the -near Umm Al-Hayman- Wafra Agricultural area Problem; The lack of potable ground water because of its high salinity. A small Sewage treatment unit was established in Wafra Residential area project in 2003 with a production capacity of 4,000 m2/day. Plans are made to establish a new water treatment plant in Sulaibiya with a production capacity of 200,000 m2/day. 

5.The Giant Sulaibiya Station

It opened officially on March 8th 2005 and is the latest sewage treatment plant in Kuwait. The Sulaibiya station is the largest in the world with the design capacity of about 375,000 m2/day at startup. And it will increase capacity in the later stages to reach its production capacity limit of about 600,000 m2/day. This plant uses a very advanced sewage treatment technology represented in the quaternary and reverse osmosis methods which allows production of water that exceeds world-class standards and specifications set by the World Health Organization for suitable drinking water, encouraging the use of treated water in a safe way that is environmental and health-conscious in the field of agricultural development, particularly produce and some industrial, commercial and domestic –minus bathing and drinking- uses.