Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


Strategic Risk Management (SRM): The Future of Desalination in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Author(s): Saad Z. Darwish, Waleed K. Zubari

The problem of water scarcity in the GCC is on the increase due to the rapid population growth and escalating water demands beyond the capacity of these countries conventional water resources consisting mainly of the groundwater, the majority of which are non-renewable, and limited rainfalls. To meet the ever-increasing demands, the GCC countries resorted to non-conventional water sources, namely: desalination to largely meet urban water demands and to treated wastewater to contribute to irrigation water demands. Because of the constraints associated with the reuse of the treated wastewater, desalination expansion seems to be the most viable solution to reduce the widening gap between water demands and supply. Unfortunately, desalination is associated with high financial and economic costs, and environmental risks. Therefore, the GCC must address this problem by setting risk management plans to ensure the provision of water for the current and future generations at the minimum financial, economic and environmental costs possible.