Sustainable Fodder Production for Qatar’s Food Security
Journal of Scientific Research and Reports,
The state of Qatar falls in one of the driest regions in the world with average rainfall of 76.8 mm year-1, and with zero surface water. The limited available natural water sources puts Qatar under huge pressure to balance between available water and water demands for different water uses.
The previous uncontrolled groundwater use in agriculture (mainly fodder production) caused decline in the groundwater table and resulted in serious environmental problems including creation of depression zones, salt intrusion in several areas and deterioration of groundwater quality and quantity in several areas.
To overcome this problem the government has suggested the use of Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) as an alternative of groundwater for producing fodder crops, to ensure fodder production while protecting the groundwater sources. This paper aims to review the current and future (year 2030) situation of fodder production using TSE, available data from governmental institutions deal with TSE production, fodder production and environmental protection were collected, analyzed and presented.
The total green fodder area irrigated with different water sources is in continuous increase, it was 1562 ha (producing 129,000 tons year-1) in year 2001 compare to 5183 ha (producing 421000 tons year-1) in the year 2012 with average water consumption of 25,000 m3 ha-1.
The design capacity of the main urban wastewater treatment plants in Qatar is 634,860 m3 day-1, while available treated wastewater is 414,301 m3 day-1 (2013), total TSE used for fodder production in 2012 was 122,500 m3 day-1 to irrigate around 1520 ha (considering 15% losses) which represents 29% of the total area irrigated with different water sources.
Forecast for TSE that will be produced in the years 2016 and 2030 are 790,410 and 819,410 m3 day-1 respectively, this can allow 9,810 ha and 10,170 ha of fodder to be irrigated if all TSE will be produced by the years 2016 and 2030 are used for fodder production.
This study paper is showing that using TSE will not only support filling the gap in fodder production, but also will help shifting from using ground water which is already depleted and hence protecting the Qatari groundwater sources. However there will be intensive competition between fodder production and other uses such as land-scaping, crops production, cooling, industrial and construction uses.
- Fodder production
- treated wastewater
- food security
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