"Bahrain Water Report Q4 2013" now available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Oct 29 2013

Bahrain's water sector is gradually undergoing reform and is increasingly open to foreign direct investment. The process is tentative, with Crown Prince Salman, appointed as deputy prime minister in Q113, hopefully able to promote a conciliatory agenda and push for economic reform. The country's water infrastructure is in need of extensive expansion and modernisation, and this is likely to remain a priority for the Bahrain authorities, as illustrated by the news that the Ministry of Public Works is forcing contractors to work round the clock to repair sewage systems.

The March 2013 elevation of the reformist-inclined Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad al-Khalifa, to deputy prime minister, may suggest a shift in favour of the pro-reform elements within the governing apparatus. The incumbent prime minister, Salman's uncle Khalifa bin Salman, on the other hand, is seen as a bulwark of conservatism and has opposed reform historically. The move does not necessarily mean that Salman is becoming more powerful, but with his remit to promote economic and political reform, his elevation may yet represent a positive development for the political and economic framework in Bahrain.

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This could serve to drive the privatisation of the water sector, which has been on the agenda in Bahrain for several years. This privatisation takes place in the context of an improvement of the overall investment climate in Bahrain, with domestic economic conditions gradually showing signs of improvement after little growth in the last two years.

The water industry in Bahrain is overseen by the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA), established to unify the power and water sector. A key area for development will be expansion of water production through desalination. The majority of water is currently provided by the Hidd IWPP (independent water and power project) and facilities will need to be expanded to meet demand moving forward. With water extraction expected to increase throughout our forecast period to 2017 and mains water consumption also expected to increase, Bahrain will need to take steps to ensure it can keep up with rising demand.

Recent key developments include:

* In June 2013 EWA launched 'Towards Sustainable Development' at the 4th Energy and Water Conservation Expo & Forum focusing on promoting energy and water conservation in Bahrain.
* In early 2013 a major project to increase potable water came online, with over 45km of pipeline inaugurated at the Hidd Potable Water Forwarding Station with three new pumping stations built and 15 existing stations upgraded, increasing potable water capacity.

Key forecasts include:

* Our forecast for total mains water consumption in 2013 is 151.5mn cubic metres.
* Total water extraction is forecast to reach 206.9mn cubic metres in 2013.
* Water losses are expected to continue to increase, reaching 55.4mn cubic metres in 2013.

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