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Qatar quenching thirst with new desalination project

Making headway on plans to shore up its water supply, Qatar has awarded Mitsubishi Corp. a $260 million contract to build a new desalination plant, officials announced yesterday.

With a completion date set for June 2015, the plant, which is being financed by four local banks and managed by Kahramaa, will undergo the expensive process of converting sea water to produce 36 million gallons of fresh water daily.

Though Qatar is a desert country with only a 48-hour emergency water supply, its water usage is among the highest in the world per capita.

Officials have been trying to curb water wastage through awareness campaigns like Tarsheed Qatar, which urge residents to consume the resource wisely.

But Kahramaa is not taking any chances. Last year, the state-owned utilities company announced a plan to build five “mega” reservoirs on the outskirts of Doha by 2016.

That scheme will cost some $2.7 billion and involve constructing the world’s largest water tanks, with the goal of building up a seven-day water supply to serve its burgeoning population.

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