Monday, October 7, 2013

GCC to set up common water grid

Project to cost $10.5bn; desalination plants in Gulf of Oman

Gulf oil producers are planning to pump around $10.5 billion to set up a landmark common water supply grid to meet their fast growing consumption in the long run because of a rapid population growth and expanding non-oil sectors.

The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which are the world’s richest in oil but poorest in water, have agreed to set up giant desalination plants in Oman to use water from the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

The project involves large pipelines that will link all six members and supply them with desalinated water in case of shortages in their existing desalination plants in the Gulf.

The project includes three stages, the first of which will cost around $2.7 billion and involves linking regional countries with a pipeline network while the second phase will cost nearly $four billion to construct a plant in Sohar on Oman’s coastline overlooking both seas. The third phase includes the construction of another desalination station in Ashkhara in Oman at a cost of about $3.8 billion.

“This project is in line with a decision by the GCC heads of state at their meeting in Riyadh in mid 2012,” Bahraini Minister of Water and Electricity Abdul Mohsen bin Ali Mirza said in remarks published in regional newspapers.

He said a feasibility study bid has already been awarded to King Abdullah for Research and Strategic Studies in Saudi Arabia at a cost of SR12.5 million.

Officials said the project would rely on water from the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea outside the oil-rich Gulf to ease reliance on desalination plants in the Gulf due to rapid growth in consumption in member states.

In a recent study, a US research firm warned that regional states could face a serious water supply shortage because of a rapid growth in domestic demand due to a large increase in their population, steady expansion in their economies, the long summer season, and lack of awareness about rationalization of water consumption.

 “Excess water consumption has become a serious issue in the region. GCC residents and businesses have disregarded the consequences of their water usage to enjoy benefits more common in countries with ample rain and overflowing aquifers. But with the population of the GCC increasing in excess of two cent a year, it is a real challenge,” Booz & Company said.

According to the report, desalination station provides more than two-thirds of the potable water used in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and will continue to play a huge role in the GCC’s water development efforts.

But it warned that desalination carries enormous economic and environmental costs. Despite a more than fivefold improvement in efficiency since 1979, the $one it costs to desalinate a cubic meter of seawater is still a relatively expensive way of producing potable water, it said.

“Moreover, seawater desalination is an energy-intensive process, consuming eight times more energy than groundwater projects, and accounting for between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of energy consumption in the GCC. This adds to the problems of energy intensity already plaguing the region,” it said.

The report estimated that GCC countries, which control 40 per cent of the world’s oil, would invest more than $100 billion in their water sectors between 2011 and 2016.

It said some of these investments will be in improved desalination technologies, which could involve solar energy or new ways of filtering out salt or making it evaporate.

A recent official study showed people in the UAE are the world’s largest water consumers, with the average per capita consumption standing at 364 litres per day, more than 82 per cent above the global average individual demand.

Demand for water in the UAE, the second largest Arab economy, totalled around 4.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2011 and is projected to nearly double to nine bcm in 2030 because of high consumption and population growth, said Mariam Hassan Al-Shanasi, undersecretary of the ministry of environment and water.

She estimated per capita water demand in the country at 364 litres per day compared with a global average of nearly 200 litres per day.

Black Press Business/Economic Feature. Week of October 6, 2013

Black Press Business/Economic Feature                              Week of October  6, 2013
By William Reed
Get a Job

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

When you were growing up, were the conversations at your house centered on concepts about business, or more along the line of “go get a job?”  Entrepreneurship is not a subject that is discussed regularly around the dinner table in African-American homes. There’s a lack of business traditions among African Americans and a paltry record of entrepreneurial successes.  Smaller probabilities of having self-employed parents, demographic trends and discrimination are primary reasons for the limited level of entrepreneurship in contemporary African-American communities.

American Blacks must cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit independent of politics and who occupies the White House.  The low historical rate of African American entrepreneurship is a well-known fact. The100-year-old, discrepancy between Black and White entrepreneurship levels could be eradicated within a few generations if more African Americans embraced and practicedentrepreneurship.  More Blacks have to get a better grasp of concepts such as capitalism and entrepreneurship.

Some Blacks equate capitalism to racism; but the truth is the free market system isn’t racist and is the best provider for Americans of all races. Capitalism is the social system under which the American economy operates. Under this structure, the means for producing and distributing goods (the land, factories, technology, transport system etc.) are owned by a small minority of people with a motive to make a profit.

Entrepreneurship is an employment strategy that can lead to economic self-sufficiency. Self-employment is a vital facet of the United States economy.  Entrepreneurship has been a means for the economic advancement of numerous ethnic groups.  Take note of most of the merchants in areas populated by Blacks. 

Ninety-nine times out of 100, Blacks patronize merchants that are from outside of our race.  Entrepreneurs drive America's economy and account for the majority of our nation's new job creation and innovations.  America's 25.8 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce, generate more than half of the nation's gross domestic product, and are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy.

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture. Although forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, several common forms exist: A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person for-profit.  

A partnership is a business owned by two or more people. 

The three typical classifications of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. A corporation is a limited liability business that has a separate legal personality from its members. 

Corporations can be government owned or privately owned, and corporations can organize either for-profit or not-for-profit.

Starting a business is a lot of work.  The hours are long, sacrifices are great and you are confronted with new problems and challenges every day.  The nature of being an entrepreneur means that you fully embrace uncertainty and are comfortable following your heart and intuition. Those who succeed do so because of their unwavering belief in the endeavor they have initiated.

What are you leaving your children? 

More Black parents need to be in a position that they can “leave the business” to their children. If we concentrated and worked hard, the 100-year-old discrepancy between Black and White entrepreneurship levels that many call “racist” could be eradicated.  More of us must embrace “Black Capitalism” to build wealth through the ownership and development of businesses.

 Prominent Black Capitalists include: Booker T. Washington, who was an early leader at theTuskegee Institute, Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Robert Reed Church, a wealthy African American, founded the nation's first Black-owned bank in 1906, Solvent Savings. 

 - William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via