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Sabrina Kraaijenbrink - Doetjes
Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes
Project Manager International

Bahrain had an abundance of fresh water through natural springs up until the 1950’s. After this period, demand for water grew rapidly as a result of population increases and the boom in construction. In the late 1970’s, there was a further significant growth in the rate of groundwater extraction due to higher rates of consumption and increased irrigation. Bahrain has the second highest water consumption per square cm of land in the world. The three key water sources in Bahrain are groundwater, desalinated water and treated wastewater. An estimated 54 percent of Bahrain’s water is sourced from groundwater resources with a further 35.6 percent from desalination and 9.7 percent from treated wastewater.

Increased water demand

Bahrain’s population has nearly tripled since 1952. Water demand in 1952 was 116.68 cubic millimetre per year, whereas in 2011, water demand was calculated to be more than 354.6 cubic millimetre. The increase had 3 main causes: population growth; improved living standards; and the development of industry and commerce throughout the country. At present, municipal uses account for 47.4 percent of demand, agriculture 44.5 percent and industrial and other commercial uses 8.1 percent.


Opportunities for the sector in Bahrain

Bahrain offers opportunities to the Dutch water sector related to improving Non Revue Water/water losses, waste water technology, adopting cost-effective desalination technologies and developing new means of water storage.

Source: Market Report Gulf region water sector – 2018, commissioned by Netherlands and You. Netherlands and You is initiated by the Dutch economic network in the GCC to connect business needs in the region with Dutch solutions.

Water & the Gulf countries

The Gulf, in which Bahrain is located, is among the most water-stressed areas in the world. At the same time, it is also one of the highest water-consuming areas. The agricultural sector is by far the largest consumer of water in the Gulf countries, accounting for around 85 percent of fresh water, nearly all of which comes from non-renewable underground sources

In light of the UAE’s ambition to ensure its food security and its need for potable water, many opportunities for cooperation in the water, energy and food sectors are arising. The Dutch water sector is becoming increasingly present in the region, especially in the domains of water technology. It is expected that the coming years will offer more opportunities for the Dutch water sector to expand its activities in the region, mostly through the EXPO2020 Dubai and the strategy of the Government of the Netherlands to focus on water-energy-food in the Gulf.


Together with the Regional Business Development Team of the Dutch Embassies in the Gulf countries, NWP is actively involved in various initiatives that lead to collaborative projects between the Dutch water sector and counterparts in the Gulf countries. NWP’s activities include providing market information about the Gulf countries to the Dutch water sector, organising onside and virtual trade missions and tailor made events; and the facilitation of partnership building. 

Interested to know more about Bahrain and other countries in the Gulf countries? Contact our Project Manager MENA region, Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes.

Bahrain is part of

Middle East