This research used an Integrated Water Resource Management approach to investigate how Water Demand Management (WDM) measures at government, utility and end-user levels could contribute to providing sustainable water supply to Bahrain, which is in an arid to semiarid region.
The main driver for this research was the supply-driven orientation favoured by policy makers and practitioners in Bahrain with little consideration for demand management. This leads to a high estimated gross per capita consumption 525 l/c/d as of 2010. There was also a need to investigate the institutional environment for managing water resources and delivering sustainable water supply to Bahrain.
The research adopted a case study methodology which included qualitative analysis of interviews and documents from the water authority, and quantitative analysis of questionnaire surveys and pilot studies. The research adopted a cross-sectional approach to the analysis of activities associated with WDM practice in Bahrain. All findings and conclusions were evaluated/validated using surveys distributed to water experts and customers. Based on their feedback, findings and conclusions were revised.
The main finding of this research was that the tariff is highly subsidized by the government and there is no encouragement for water savings. The low tariff leads to low revenue which in turn affects the budget allocated to the relevant departments and units at the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA). This impacts negatively on their activities. It was found that there is no effective strategy for integrated water resources management; there is a high level of Non Revenue Water (NRW) (38%); and limited reuse of grey water and water use saving devices. In addition there is a lack of public awareness and understanding of the benefits of WDM among all levels of society including professionals and water supply providers.
The research concluded that improving water use efficiency in Bahrain should be a priority due to the current high water supply costs. There is a need for proper legislation that enforces the use of WDM; establishment of a national WDM committee with the Water Resources Directorate, and for water resource professionals to follow WDM oriented policies. The research proposed six areas to be further investigated to achieve more efficient use of water: (a) Water tariff reform to recover full water supply costs; (b) institutional reform through activating and enforcing Water Resources Council roles; (c) promoting public awareness about WDM and its benefits; (d) reducing non revenue water; (e) applying positive economic sliding scale incentives for customers who reduce their water consumption; and (f) enhancing public participation at all water planning and management stages.
This thesis is confidential until 31st March 2016. A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.