Already with Hydraulically Inadequate Sewers and Odour Problems – How Will Doha Manage A Tripling of the Population by 2030, Whilst Still Addressing the Green Agenda?

Bottom, S. and Graham, H., Gutteridge Haskins and Davey Ltd, Australia


Ashghal - responsible for all Doha, Qatar’s foul and storm-water systems - intends to fully meet all needs
to 2030 and beyond. By 2030, population will triple to 2m, and the upgrades/ renewals will still need to
deal with extreme climatic conditions, whilst fully maintaining service to all. Also, Ashghal is seeking to
minimise total (capital and operating) costs, and its eco-footprint. Aiming for ‘total reuse’, it will enhance
current sewage treatment, implement reverse osmosis (RO) technology, and use the improved quality
treated sewage effluent (TSE) to support the rising population, as far as possible from Qatar’s own


Gutteridge Haskins and Davey (GHD) is helping Ashghal (Drainage Affairs – the wastewater undertaker in
Doha, State of Qatar) renew and upgrade its foul and storm-water systems to fully meet needs to 2030.
Doha and its adjacent city Rayyan has a population of some 750,000, and the joint urban area covers
some 261 km2

For comparison, Birmingham in the UK has a population of some 1 million and its urban
area covers 268 km2.  Doha’s population doubled between 1986 and 2004, suggesting an annual average of 4% growth, implying
a tripling of the population by 2030, to about 2 million from the study base date of 2007. This increased
population will need to be accommodated on a commensurate urban area, which will contribute more
significantly to the run off that needs to be dealt with by the sewerage and drainage systems, both in
terms of quantum, and of intensity.

The development however cannot be fully planned for (‘planning is never completed’), but the sewerage
infrastructure will nevertheless still need to deal with the flows, in both quality and quantity terms, and
upgrades and renewals need to take place seamlessly, and hopefully unnoticed by the population.
By contrast, Birmingham does have a similar requirement (system integrity must be maintained, and if
anything, the quality standards are tighter, as are the financial constraints), but by 2030, Birmingham’s
population is only expected to grow to about 1.12 million, a rise of only 12% over 23 years. The diagram
shows the development of Doha over the last half-century

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