Water conservation - a matter of principle at Qatalum

Water conservation - a matter of principle at Qatalum

At the Qatalum Village saving water is a big deal, so big in fact that the initiatives taken have yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings and a similar number of gallons of water being reused. Qatalum’s ongoing commitment to the environment is reflected here by using the most advanced water management practices.

​​When the Qatalum Village is at full capacity there are approximately 10,000 individuals using its services such as electricity, water and catering. The focus of the management team is on running day to day operations efficiently but not without attention to constant improvement. As with any operation cutting costs are on top of the agenda. However, at Qatalum controlling expenses is accomplished with a keen focus on environmental integrity and in particular the conservation of water.​

Striving to stay ahead of all its contemporaries, the Qatalum Village took steps to install basic water saving devices (flow reducers) at 230 water usage points comprising of taps, showers and toilets, together with associated efficient irrigation measures. The objectives were to significantly reduce usage of scarce and​ expensive potable water, increase the reuse of treated water for greenery, and further reduce the expensive haulage (removal) of waste water to distant municipal disposal grounds. Simple in nature the water saving devices came into effect in May of 2009. The total cost of the initiative was approximately US$22,600 with huge relative water and cost savingsClick ​here for f​acts and figures

Water conservation - a matter of principle at Qatalum 
A typical flow reducing device for a tap​ Treated sewage effluent must meet Qatar's Ministry of Environment turbidity (clarity) standards. Here being visually tested by Dr. Odeh

Water conservation - a matter of principle at Qatalum 

How is the used water treated and reused?

Used water at the Qatalum village is sent to the on site wastewater treatment facility. The treatment process is comprised of secondary treatment (using Rotating Biological Contactors) and tertiary treatment (using sand filters and disinfection). Resulting solid sludge cake is dried for future use as a soil enriching additive. The treated water is fit for landscape irrigation, dust control, and earth works construction purposes. The treated water quality resulting from the process is strictly controlled by a resident testing regime and aligned to international treated water quality standards. "We want Qatalum to be a sustainable development; one that benefits us now and leaves room for future generations to benefit from the natural resources available to us. Water conservation is a step in that right direction," said Mufeed Odeh, an Environment Manager at Qatalum.

 Prior to the water saving initiative a greening campaign was ongoing at the Village with the objective to increase this substantially by planting over 500 new trees and a dramatically extending the grass areas by the use of solely treated water for irrigation. At present the Qatalum Village is an expanse of green fields and trees, far larger than any other labour camp in Qatar

Is there a lasting impact?

It is self evident from the attached figures that money is being saved, water consumption reduced, less water bought and the cost of haulage reduced. The ultimate goal is achieve zero water haulage whereby all water, once purchased, is dutifully reused within the area.

Additionally, an even more sustainable outcome is the educational impact of such an initiative. The residents, most from developing world communities leave Qatalum Village aware of the concept of saving water and the relatively easy means it takes to conserve this precious resource.​