The only available natural water resources are the extremely limited rainwater and salty groundwater. The groundwater is extremely exhausted with non-replenished rates. Its exploitation not only should be stopped, but it should be recharged to serve as strategic national water storage. The potable water demand is mainly satisfied by desalting seawater (99%), using the multi stage flash desalting system. This method is energy inefficient, very costly, and should be replaced with a more energy efficient desalting system such as the seawater reverse osmosis system. This can save up to three-fourths of the fuel energy used for desalination and substantially reduce the desalting water cost. Treated wastewater is another resource that should be utilized. Its cost is much cheaper than desalting seawater. Its amount increases with increasing population and consumption. Water consumption/capita is extremely high, and should be reduced through effective demand management. Qatar freshwater production can satisfy twice the demand when used wisely. The Qatari water problem resulted from; limited natural water resources, over exploitation of limited replenished groundwater, causing their depletion, full dependence on desalted seawater for municipal uses, and high energy consuming desalting system; and thus leading to high desalted seawater cost, combining desalting units with power plants of limited water to power ratio, inability to satisfy the high water demand increase compared to power demand, vulnerability of desalting seawater systems, incomplete utilization of reclaimed treated wastewater, lack of public incentives measures to conserve water, unrealistic low pricing of water and power, and lack of awareness of the value of water in homes and public buildings. Solving water problems in Qatar needs a suitable integrated water management plan (IWMP) for the unique nature of Qatar. The main objectives of the IWMP are the managing of both water resources and demand. This paper is looking for the factors affecting the adoption of an integrated water management plan to solve the water problem.


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