Energy and water in Kuwait Part I. A sustainability view point

M. A. Darwish, F. M. Al-Awadhi, A. M. Darwish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The sustainability of the energy and desalted water in Kuwait is questionable. Kuwait has experienced a very rapid growth in the last five decades by the evolution of oil production and its price increase. The main source of potable water is secured by desalted seawater (about 90-93% desalted water blended with brackish water). The increase of the daily-consumed fresh water in liters per capita (from 137 in 1973 to almost 500 in 2003), the dailygenerated electric power in billion kWh (from 19.4 in 1984 to 35.4 in 2004), and the population increase (from 900,000 in 1983 to more than 2,540,000 in 2003) has necessitated the production of large quantities of desalted water with huge amounts of consumed fuel energy. Thermally operated desalting units usually obtain their thermal energy input by steam extracted from steam turbines. Therefore, desalted water in large quantities is produced in cogeneration power desalting plants (CPDP). Burning fuel to generate electric power and desalt water causes the environment pollution by producing carbon dioxide CO2, nitrogen oxides NOx, and sulfur dioxides SO2 with quantities directly related with the consumed fuel energy for each desalting and power processes. The efficiency increase of both power and desalting water production decreases the impact on the environment. The current rate of consumed electric power and desalted water are high, and increasing to the extent that the time when the all fuel oil production (almost 2.5 million barrels/d) is locally consumed is approaching fast. In about thirty years, the total oil production may not be enough for people to drink and live in air-conditioned space in Kuwait. The aim of this paper is to look for the inefficiencies in generating power and desalting seawater and their impact on the environment, and to find ore energy efficient ways to save the nation's main income (fuel oil production). It is also important to promote conservation measures for both water and power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Chemical hazards of desalting units
  • Desalination
  • Electric power consumption
  • Flue gases
  • Fuel consumption
  • Fuel oil production
  • Water consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

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