The global desalination market is likely to record a two-fold growth with its total spend surging from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $32.1 billion by 2027 mainly driven by the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) market which has around 48% of the ongoing desalination projects, pushing investments to a predicted $4.3 billion by 2022, said a report ahead of the third edition of the Mena Desalination Projects Forum in Abu Dhabi.
To be held from March 15 to 16, it is the largest government-endorsed regional desalination conference that will bring together over 400 regional and international stakeholders from the government, consulting, contracting and technology sectors to discuss the way forward for the region’s desalination industry, key upcoming mega projects, and national sustainability visions driving the region’s 2030 water agendas.
More than 150 C-Suite Executives (CEOs and MDs) including more than 30 speakers and panelists will be taking part in the event which will also see 30 exhibitors and sponsors displaying their latest innovation and technologies.
The rising demand for desalinated water, growing investment and increasing number of desalination projects will come under focus at the two-day forum.
According to a World Bank report, the annual cost of demand gap for clean or desalinated water in the Mena region could go as high as $300 to $400 billion from the current $104 billion per year.
Water scarcity in the region has already become a challenge to development. This scarcity will only grow over time due to increasing population, expected economic growth, and the likely impacts of climate change on water availability and demand, it stated.
The Mena region is one of the most water-stressed parts of the world. In just over 25 years, between 1975 and 2001, the amount of fresh water available to a citizen in the region was cut in half - from 3,000 cu m per person to 1,500 cu m per person - largely due to rapid population growth.
Today, that citizen has a little over 1,000 cu m for their use, compared to a global average of over 7,000 cu m. By another measure, 14 of the world’s top 20 water-scarce countries are situated in Mena region.
“Our analysis shows that the water demand gap will quintuple by 2050, from today’s 42 cubic kilometres per annum to approximately 200 cubic kilometres per annum.” World Bank said in the report.