A new report by Research and Markets estimates that the total pipeline of water and sewage construction projects in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will be approximately $133.2 billion, of which $19,1 billion was spent in 2019 and $30.8 billion will be allocated in 2020.
The report “Project Insight – Water and Sewage Construction Projects: MEA” says projects currently in pre-execution have a total value of $40.3 billion and plans that are at the execution stage are worth $58.8 billion, according to Utilities Middle East.
In addition, there are projects in the drafting board with a value of $4.9 billion and in the pre-planning stage worth $29.1 billion.
According to Research and Markets, if all plans in the pipeline go ahead as planned, this year's spending will hit $30.8 billion, but will fall to $7.3 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, projects completed in 2021 will hit the highest value with a total value of $28.7 billion.
Of all the water projects, the highest valued contracts are in the area of desalination for a value of $52.7 billion. The Middle East and North Africa are currently accountable for 47 per cent of the world’s desalination capacity. The highest investment in desalination is Kuwait with $17.6 billion and Oman with $11.8 billion.
The report highlights the region’s top consulting engineers are Lahmeyer International GmbH, based in Germany but part of Tractebel Engineering based in Belgium, and Amec Foster Wheeler (Wood Group), based in the UK. In desalination, top contractors are Korea-based Hyundai Engineering Company and China's Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corporation.
There are 17 countries below the water poverty line set by the United Nations in North Africa and the Middle East, making it the world’s most water-scarce region. Research and Markets highlights that water scarcity not only creates economic hardship; it can also be a possible source of hostility between countries over water in the region.
The report also adds that inadequate water supply and wastewater treatment is a constant threat in sub-Saharan Africa due to the potential of wide scale epidemics.
The region’s water supplies are also becoming increasing strained due to rapid population growth, economic progress and the effects of global warming, which include prolonged periods of drought.