research writing

use the information from the attachments don’t use out sources.(argumentative writing) I want you to write me two long paragraphs on two pages talking about the strategies that explain how governments in the Arabian Gulf countries work to overcome water issues including shortage of water issue and water pollution issue. in the first paragraph write about best strategies to overcome water shortage issue and second paragraph about water pollution. just use information from the articles that I provide them for you in the attachments, don’t use out addition, try to focus on desalination process that is used to overcome water shortage issue in the Arabian gulf countries. moreover provide some useful idea that help to overcome these issues such as establishing water dams.


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environmental science & policy 50 (2015) 145–154
Available online at
journal homepage:
Prospects of environmental governance in
addressing sustainability challenges of seawater
desalination industry in the Arabian Gulf
Aliyu Salisu Barau a,1, Naeema Al Hosani b,*
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Geography & Urban Planning Department, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, United Arab Emirates
University, PO Box 15551, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
article info
Article history:
The hyper-arid climate of the Arabian Gulf makes it an excessively water-deficient region.
Available online 6 March 2015
Ironically, the Gulf States count among the few places with the highest per capita water
consumption and low tariff. Since a few decades ago, seawater desalination has been the
most reliable source of portable water in the Gulf. Recently, many critical scholars raise
concerns about the rising levels of brine discharge, effects of water intake and outfall
Earth system governance
systems infrastructure, plants’ high energy consumption and fragmented regulatory and
policy frameworks. In this study, we explore the potentials of environmental governance in
Water security
addressing sustainability risks of seawater desalination projects. The DPSIR model and the
Earth system governance framework guided and supported our analysis of several multidimensional issues that underlie the characteristics of this industry. Thus, we identified 29
cause and effect factors as well as nine environmental governance intervention strategies.
The study suggests that the industry’s network of stakeholders can develop good ideas for
fostering sustainability by using innovative tools such as hackathon—an interdisciplinary,
participatory, solution-oriented, and consensus building platform. Finally, this study
enjoins policymakers, businesses, and scientists to embrace more transparent, practical
and holistic ideas in designing, executing and assessing technological innovations and
interventions in national and regional water security initiatives.
# 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The chronic freshwater shortage around the world deprives
over two billion people of the fundamental right to portable
water (Axworthy and Sandford, 2012). Obviously, this figure
sounds alarming as it implies that a huge proportion of the
human population is lacking in this essential commodity. This
problem is exacerbated by the increasing population, the
changing climate, urbanisation, industrialisation, and agricultural uses. In this regard, Bogardi et al. (2012) identified
some of the needed actions for securing scarce water to
include protection of ecosystems, and better governance of
water use and distribution. In other words, water governance
is a critical means of intervention particularly in dryland
regions that persistently cope with multiple problems of water
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +60 177743529.
E-mail addresses:, (A.S. Barau), (N. Al Hosani).
Tel: +971 3 7136430; fax: +971 3 7136937.
1462-9011/# 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
environmental science & policy 50 (2015) 145–154
insecurity. Naturally, the geography of dryland areas such as
the Gulf exposes them to critical water shortage. The Ackerman (1969)’s typology of global population-resource-technology regions designates the Gulf region as Arctic-Desert type.
According to this classification, a technology-deficient region
is characterised by a very low population and poor technology.
The Gulf region has high water debts (amount of groundwater
withdrawal higher than natural inflow) while its absolute
water scarcity value was estimated at <500 m3/capita/year (Eales and Clifford, 2013). This situation makes the Arabian Gulf to rank among the world’s regions with the poorest water per capita as well as the highest per capita cost of water supply (Alsharhan et al., 2001). Ironically, water consumption in the region is one of the highest in the world. According to the statistics of the World Bank (2005), the Gulf States have average daily water consumption per capita that ranges between 300 and 750 l. This does not compare with the average daily water consumption of 580 l for the United States or 90 l for China (Chellaney, 2011). Both countries have sizable drylands that experience water shortage. Water is a highly subsidised commodity in the Gulf to the extent that in some of these countries consumers pay less than five percent of water production cost (Ouda, 2013). The paradox of water overuse in a region identified with perennial water scarcity is largely due to the huge financial resources that governments are investing in water production through seawater desalination plants. Seawater desalination technology was introduced to the Gulf region in 1950s, and since then, it remains the most reliable alternative source of water (Alsharhan et al., 2001). The total capacity of desalination plants in the GCC member states is estimated at more than 11 million cubic metres per day or about 45% of the global total desalinated water production (Latteman and Hopner, 2008). More recently, new figures estimated the total capacity of the Gulf desalination plants at five billion cubic metres per year (Dawoud and Al Mulla, 2012). The sheer size of the volume of water produced by these plants may create an impression that there are strong institutional and policy frameworks. Indeed, there are many such bodies and regulations; however, inter-agency overlaps and fragmentation hinder their efficacy to address a number of sustainability issues. It is not surprising that the UN World Water Assessment Programme (2014) concludes that poor coordination of water and energy sectors in the Arab region hinders the promising sustainability innovations in the regional desalination industry. Other governance related gaps in the region include wrong decision making and planning in respect of suitable locations for desalination plants and lack of good monitoring system (Merwe et al., 2013; Grubert et al., 2014). The problem of the Gulf desalination industry is complicated by lack of regional integrated approach to this challenge. All the states in this region use the Gulf waters for desalination. Some countries have functional regional initiatives such as the EU’s Water Framework Directive which aims at maintaining quantitative and qualitative status of water bodies with the region (Borja et al., 2006). Similarly, there are a few international initiatives that offer templates for developing integrated water resource management at local and regional levels. A good example of this is the Dublin Principles which underscores the need for countries to adapt integrated water management approach (United Nations, 1992). The first, second and third principles are particularly important in the context of this research because they underline the need to recognise water resources vulnerability, conservation, and the role of planning and policy. Importantly, the Dublin principles share the visions of water resource governance principles enshrined in the water related aspects of the MDGs/SDGs. The Gulf Region provides an interesting case on the dire need for water resource governance. More importantly, the future of the region’s rapid urbanisation and economic growth depend heavily on the desalinated water. Unlike the conventional water resources development technologies, desalination plants depend significantly on sea and brackish waters which they contaminate in a number of ways. For instance, the tear and wear of the desalination plants through corrosion of condenser tubes and direct discharge of concentrates all threaten the Gulf waters (El-Dahshan, 2001; Merwe et al., 2013). As a result, there are calls for inclusion of innovative procedures that can effectively address the sustainability challenges of the seawater desalination plants (Lattemann and Amy, 2013). Apart from the desalination industry pollution, the oil industry and a number of coastal cities around the Gulf marine ecosystems underlie the reason why fragmented management is unacceptable (Trevors and Weiler, 2013). At present time, there is no pragmatic and integrated governance framework that comprehensively addresses the sustainability crisis of this industry. The advocacy for an integrated approach for managing water resources has increased in recent years (World Bank, 2005; Khan, 2008; UNEP, 2012). An integrated approach to the management of water resources on its own may not suffice without anchoring it to the concept of environmental governance. Parkes et al. (2010) suggested that governance of water resources fosters sustainability within socio-ecological prism. The term governance according to Biermann (2013) may refer to ‘‘decentralised policies, non-hierarchical decision-making, and the involvement of both public and private actors’’ for the purpose of steering a society towards sustainability. He added that social scientists are not comfortable with notions like environmental policy because it does not adequately address human interactions with planetary system, just as the term environmental management connotes technocratic, top-down and centralised management. As an alternative to the traditional management concept, the new paradigm of the Earth system governance underscores the need for engaging formal and informal rules, rules making systems, holistic approach, conflict resolution, transparent decision making, and collaboration with all stakeholders in order to achieve efficient, legitimate and equitable transitions to sustainability (Biermann, 2012; Carvalho and Fide´lis, 2013; Schroeder, 2014). The present study seeks to identify environmental governance strategies that can effectively transform the Gulf region’s seawater desalination projects towards sustainability. The study draws heavily from the Earth system governance paradigm and other environmental policy frameworks because of their promising potentials of embracing wider socioecological perspectives. Findings of this study can potentially help in understanding gaps in policy and institutional frameworks associated with water crises and technology environmental science & policy 50 (2015) 145–154 interventions in the rapidly urbanising and industrialising dryland areas. 2. Arabian Gulf: Geography, governance and challenges of desalination plants According to Reynolds (1993), the Arabian Gulf covers an area of 239,000 km2 that encompasses the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz. Its length extends to some 1000 km; while its maximum and minimum widths are approximately 338 and 56 km, respectively. The Arabian Gulf is a trans-boundary large marine ecosystem (Trevors and Weiler, 2013). The six countries that constitute its political geography through membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (Fig. 1). Apart from Saudi Arabia, about 90% of the Gulf states population lives in urban areas whose urbanisation rate lies between 3.5 and 6% per annum (World Bank, 2005; Malecki and Ewers, 2007). It is estimated that over 15 million people live along the Gulf coastal zones (Nadim et al., 2008; Burt et al., 2013). The oil rich Arabian Gulf is also rich with marine biodiversity such as coral reefs which is thriving in an increasingly degrading environment (Burt, 2013). Previously, there are some efforts made through the GCC to address sustainability of the Gulf marine system through System for Conservation of Water Resources, a policy draft 147 signed in 1998. Unfortunately, this policy draft was neither holistic nor effective (Alsharhan et al., 2001). Prior to this, the Regional Organisation for the Protection of Marine Environment (ROPME) was established in 1979 to address marine pollution in the Gulf littoral areas (El-Habr and Hutchinson, 2008). In principle, the ROPME has an integrated scope that covers coastal management, marine pollution by oil, urban and industrial activities. However, this organisation is constrained by financial and technical challenges, absence of sustainability standards to check upstream and downstream impacts of industrial discharges, as well as lack implementation of many rules and regulations (Nadim et al., 2008). The present situation makes the threats of desalination plants more visible and daunting particularly in the light of the dynamics of population growth, urbanisation, economic growth and global environmental change. Merwe et al. (2013) observed that it is not possible to achieve sustainability in the Gulf desalination industry without an integrated governance framework both national and regional levels. The summary of the recent state of the desalination industry in the region is shown in Table 1. The distribution of these plants in the region implies that it is essential to develop a common sustainability goal to respond to their multiple effects on the environment. Other regional efforts include the Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) which has made giant strides in building global partnerships and collaborations that support the state of the art scientific research in water desalination Fig. 1 – Map of the six Gulf States. 148 environmental science & policy 50 (2015) 145–154 Table 1 – Desalination plants types and production capacity in million cubic metres per year Dawoud and Al Mulla (2012) and Reuters (2012). Country Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates * Technology Multistage flash (MSF) Multi effect distillation (MED) Reverse osmosis (RO) Others* Total Capacity million m3/year 1 0 3 5 18 20 1 0 0 1 3 8 2 6 31 2 76 18 2 0 1 0 0 1 6 6 35 8 97 47 246.37 701.96 167.77 390.55 1721 1776 Population (million) 1.2 2.7 2.7 1.7 27.4 7.5 RO + MSF, electrodialysis, vector compression. (Delyannis and Belessiotis, 2010). It is obvious that this and other initiatives do not fully incorporate the role of governance in achieving long-term sustainability of the region’s desalination industry and the vulnerable marine ecosystems. Sheppard et al. (2010) listed gaps in governance in this region to include resistance to holistic approach and the very limited culture of information sharing among water resources development agencies and firms in the Gulf. This also is in sharp contrast to the situation in other major regional groupings such as the European Union where water governance framework is strongly established. The European Water Framework Directive and European Climate Policy provide good examples of regional commitment to the role of governance in achieving sustainability of the water resources sector (Borja et al., 2006; Ellison et al., 2014). Many researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds have conducted numerous studies on prospects of innovative technologies in mitigating ecological hazards and costs of desalination technologies (Altaee et al., 2014; Ghaffour et al., 2013; Shatat et al., 2013 etc.). Most of their findings suggest that sustainability of seawater desalination involves a number of issues that go beyond alternative technologies or cost reduction. For instance, regional integrated regulatory issues, population change and urbanisation dynamics underlie the future water security of this region. It is worrying that most of the Gulf desalination plants are located in close proximity to each other and also very close to the shallow shores of the Gulf waters. In other words, the risk of convergence and redistribution of discharges into the waters from all countries is very high. In addition to that, water footprints of many important towns and capital cities in the Gulf are likely to continue rising and thus eventually compounding urban pollution, oil spills and desalination plants related pollution. In view of this, some researchers argued that governance or policy issues are crucial to addressing such complicated issues surrounding seawater desalination in the Gulf (Dawoud and Al Mulla, 2012; Merwe et al., 2013). The present policy response for addressing the sustainability challenges of desalination in the Gulf can be described as rather patchy and lacking in innovative environmental governance strategies that encompass varied issues. For instance, in all the Gulf countries issues relating to conservation, energy, tariffs, and pollution control are taken care of by different agencies. It is obvious that, a common regional governance policy framework to tackle the common risks of the desalination industry is lacking. Perhaps, this is a common problem in the Asia-Pacific region. In the opinion of King et al. (2012), regional environmental institutions are weak and unconsolidated in these countries. This implies the urgency to develop ideas to cater for this enduring sustainability challenge. 3. Methodology In order to gain a deeper insight into the current sustainability challenges of the Gulf desalination industry, this study relied heavily on peer reviewed literature. We sought for relevant literature published as recent as the time of conducting the study. Our main channels for sourcing and identifying the literature were Science Direct and Google scholar. We searched interchangeably for the following keywords: ‘desalination’, ‘seawater desalination’, ‘sustainable desalination, ‘desalination in the Gulf’, and ‘Gulf desalination policy and governance’. The search for relevant publications yielded many results from within and outside the Arabian Gulf Region. We narrowed down to articles that particularly reported policy, governance and sustainability issues in the six Gulf countries. This was a bit difficult because each country followed different policies and visions for their desalination industry. Other articles that reported on the experiences of other regions were particularly helpful in giving us a better understanding of the relevance of environmental governance. Since each of the six Gulf countries operates a different regulatory and policy frameworks for its desalination plants, we applied the driving force–pressure–state–impact–response (DPSIR) model to facilitate identification and analysis of the nested ecological and policy issues. This model has been used effectively in previous studies that investigated regional water governance frameworks (Borja et al., 2006). Similarly, Gregory et al. (2013) also used the DPSIR model to categorise socioecological dimensions of marine ecosystems management. The choice of the DPSIR model was informed by its ability to allow researchers to sort out complicated issues and guide in developing policy indicators (Tscherning et al., 2012). In this case, issues raised by the selected articles were grouped according to whether they fall under driving forces, pressures, state, impact or responses. This was done through a critical thinking of where a given issues can be located suitably based on our previous studies identified or discussed that issue. environmental science & policy 50 (2015) 145–154 The authors found the DPSIR model very helpful as it enabled them to identify and categorise issues relating to the prospective role of environmental governance in analysing the Gulf’s seawater desalination industry. Some scholars argued that sustainability in the 21st century is all about seeking solutions through science and policy (Ignaciuk et al., 2012), but this would be difficult without a salient and critical understanding of the interconnecting issues within a particular problem. In line with the objective of this study, we adapted ... Purchase answer to see full attachment

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