Day 45: A Country with No Water

Quatar is a small middle Eastern country with an abundance of oil, gas, sunshine, wind and money. It also has no water and 90% of food is imported. Fahad Al- Attiya is an engineer whose job it is to maintain food security.   
In the 1940s, most of Quatar’s 11000 strong population lived a nomadic lifestyle with a life expectancy averaging 50 years. After the second world war, the country began to exploit their newly discovered oil, people became urbanised and Quatar developed to its current point; a population of 1.7 million and a 15% annual economic growth. This has all taken place in the absence of water, a growth for which there has been no precedence in history.   
So how do they survive without water? Al-Attiya shows us an image of a giant desalination machine which he describes as their lake. They still need to worry; Quatar stores only about 2 days worth of water.   
Al- Attiya and his team have spent several years researching this. He summarises his results on a single slide. Their goal; to use their most abundant power source, the sun, to provide enough energy for desalination, giving sufficient water to maintain farming practices and therefore food security. To achieve this goal, they require government legislation allowing for systems of education, industrialisation and research and development.   Quatar’s capital, Doha, is only sixty years old. The Quataris also have another aim- to ensure their survival and make it into a millenium city.    


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