The Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) is an initiative by the Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, with the broad remit of developing a sustainable solution to the Nation's current food insecurity due to almost complete dependency on food imports. QNFSP develops a comprehensive solution that covers multiple dimensions from policies and regulations through to infrastructure design. Part of the solution will be an increase in domestic agricultural production, which necessitates significant additional desalination capacity. For reasons of sustainability, the energy demand from desalination will be met by renewable and clean energy sources. Besides desalination and energy generation, aquifer storage will be a key component of the QNFSP infrastructure. Complex interactions exist between the different QNFSP water and energy infrastructure components as well as with already existing infrastructure components in other sectors. A number of alternative scenarios are possible for the systems integration of the QNFSP infrastructure components, each offering different synergistic opportunities, different cost trade offs and different overall merits.

A model has been built to simulate and analyze the interactions between the water and energy infrastructure components relevant to QNFSP in order to better understand the complex interdependences, to assess different integration and what if scenarios, and to explore impacts from policy making and regulation. This paper presents the model as well as systems analyses in the form of comparative assessments of different integration scenarios for different technology choices and operational strategies. The results shed light on overall systems cost, trade-offs between water and energy infrastructure components, comparisons of implications of renewable versus conventional energy sources, and identifies cross-sector benefits that are possible through appropriate infrastructure integration. The paper will not only focus on infrastructure design but also highlight the interactions between design and policy making that need to be considered in the development of an efficient solution.


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