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  • Author: Arani Kajenthira, Laura Diaz Anadon, Afreen Sidiqqi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Industrial and urban water reuse should be considered along with desalination as options for water supply in Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi Ministry for Water and Electricity (MoWE) has estimated that an investment of $53 billion will be required for water desalination projects over the next 15 years [1], the evolving necessity to conserve fossil resources and mitigate GHG emissions requires Saudi policy makers to weigh in much more heavily the energy and environmental costs of desalination. Increasing water tariffs for groundwater and desalinated water to more adequately represent the costs of water supply could encourage conservation, but also reuse, which may be more appropriate for many inland and high-altitude cities. The Saudi government should expand its support for water conservation and reuse within industry through financial incentives or through the implementation of cleaner production standards that encourage energy and water conservation and reuse. The case studies discussed in this work suggest that the implementation of water conservation, reuse and recovery measures in the natural gas [2] and crude oil [3] sectors alone have the potential to conserve up to 222 million m3 of water annually [2-4], or 29% of the total industrial water demand in 2009 [5]. In the municipal sector, increasing secondary wastewater treatment and reuse resulted in substantial cost and energy savings for six inland cities, while an estimated 26% of urban water needs could be met by treated wastewater. Therefore, industrial and domestic water reuse have the potential to appreciably reduce water withdrawals, conserve non-renewable aquifer water, and reduce reliance on desalination, which is primarily driven by non-renewable natural gas. Anticipated investments in desalination projects could also be deferred by prioritizing investment in sewage and water distribution networks that would ensure more effective water reclamation and reuse while simultaneously conserving non-renewable groundwater and natural gas resources and preventing the lock-in of potentially unnecessary desalination infrastructure that is likely to become more efficient in future.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Justin Dargin
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have some of the highest greenhouse gas emissions rates per capita in the world. This paper argues that in spite of the extremely high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rates, GCC members will benefit economically, environmentally and geopolitically by constructing a harmonized pan-GCC carbon trading platform that will allow them to make cost-efficient decisions about greenhouse gas abatement. A thorough analysis is undertaken to determine which GHG abatement mechanism would be the best suited for the GCC, with maximum cost and environmental benefits. Based on the unique characteristics of the GCC members, a pan-GCC cap-and-trade framework is suggested. Optimally, policy makers would institute it in a phased, voluntary introduction, to be gradually replaced by a mandatory scheme. If the GCC countries implement such a system, they would be able to rationalize their energy usage for domestic power production, and conserve their oil and gas production for future generations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeannie Sowers
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The impacts of human-induced climate change are often considered a future prospect, yet in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), indications of a changing climate are clearly evident. Most of the predicted outcomes associated with international climate models are already occurring in the region, compounding existing problems of water scarcity, water pollution, desertification, salinization, and sea-level rise. Since most of the MENA region is arid and hyperarid, small changes in water availability and arable land have significant consequences for human security. Thus, “if mitigation is about energy, adaptation is about water” (Clausen and Berg 2010). Particularly through effects on the variability and quality of scarce and degraded water resources, human-induced climate change exacerbates already existing problems affecting urban and rural development, human health, and economic productivity in MENA.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Justin Dargin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Although it seems inconceivable, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is facing an enormous energy shortage. Much of the world views the UAE – and the rest of the Gulf countries by extension – as an inexhaustible reserve of hydrocarbons. However, as with many of the other Gulf countries, the UAE confronts a potentially far reaching energy crisis. Despite increased energy production and imported Qatari gas through the Dolphin natural gas pipeline, UAE domestic gas demand substantially exceeds available supply. This disparity created a shortfall met by an increasing use of fuel oil, natural gas liquids, and in certain circumstances, coal. But it is natural gas that continues to be the UAE's most important domestic energy source.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Lynne Kiesling, Joseph Becker
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Recent changes in Russia's domestic oil industry have had dramatic effects on world oil markets, including Russia's emergence as the number two exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia. These effects are occurring even though Russia is not close to fully exploiting its reserves. Russia's oil industry has large growth prospects, and this potential will allow Moscow to take a greater market share away from OPEC in the future. A number of factors will facilitate this trend. Russia's target oil price is lower than OPEC's, which gives it an incentive to continue exporting beyond OPEC's wishes. Also, Russia's oil industry is more privatized than the oil industries in Persian Gulf states, which allows it to be more entrepreneurial in attracting investment and joint ventures.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Moscow, Kabardino
  • Author: Graham T. Allison, Emily Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The date is July 1, 2001. Real world history and trends occurred as they did through March 19, 2001 — except for the hypothetical departures specified in the case below. Events after March 19 that are not specified in this case are assumed to be straight - line projections of events as they stand on March 19. Assume, for example, that sporadic violence continues in the Middle East at the current level of intensity; Britain and the U.S. are nearing the end of their review of UN sanctions against Iraq, and will soon make recommendations on refocusing the sanctions to make them “smarter”; as expected, Mohammad Khatami was reelected as President of Iran on June 8 with a mandate for continued reform; the price of oil is $25/barrel; events in Chechnya and Ukraine, and negotiations over Nagorno - Karabagh will continue as before.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, United Nations