The Natural Resource Management (NRM) is one of the most important pillars of Qatar Second National Development Strategy (NDS-2) 2018-2022. It requires protecting water resources, rationalizing the use of energy, utilizing the renewable energy resources, increasing the rates of self-sufficiency of agricultural and fishery products, and using the hydrocarbon resources optimally, especially given the population growth in the State of Qatar, along with the inhabitants' pressure and high demand for those resources.
The importance of the natural resource sector stems from its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) components and growth. In 2016 (in 2013 constant prices), oil and gas contributed in about 49.5% of GDP with an added value of QR394.4 billion, the electricity and water sector contributed in nearly 0.5% of GDP with an added value of some QR3.7 billion. On the other hand, agriculture, livestock and fishery sector's contribution was weak (around 0.1% of GDP, with an added value of only QR1.02 billion. This means that the NRM sector contributed about half of the GDP in 2016. Qatari exports of oil and gas accounted for 85% of total exports in 2015 (57.7% for gas and 27.4% for crude oil).
Out of the nearly two million workers in Qatar in 2016, the mining sector alone employed around 100,000 workers; the water, sanitation and waste management and treatment sector absorbed about 13,100 workers, and the agriculture, livestock and fishery sector employed approximately 25,000 workers. This indicates that this sector is not labor-intensive since it as a whole only employed nearly 7.4% of the entire labor market, which is a limited contribution.
The natural resource sector in Qatar First National Development Strategy (NDS-1) 2011 - 2016 included two pillars: enhancing economic and technical efficiency, and promoting market efficiency. This is achieved through improving water resource management, promoting energy and gas efficiency, improving land-use efficiency, achieving sustainable improvements in agricultural productivity, establishing the Sustainable Fishery Resource Program and infrastructure legislations, as well as the optimum pricing of energy, water, and fuel resources.
Various objectives have been achieved and there was a great progress in enhancing water management. The rate of water leaking (non-revenue water) from desalinated water was reduced to 10% in 2015 (4.7% of which was real losses from leaking, and less than 6% was administrative losses) compared to nearly 30% in 2011. Moreover, the Rationalization law No. 26 of 2008 was amended by the Rationalization law No. 20/2015 to raise the consumer awareness of the optimal use of water resources. Damaged meters were replaced and smart meters are being installed. The installation of modern techniques to properly manage water in some schools and mosques has also been supported and they are being installed in other utilities. Non-traditional water resources have also been used in biosaline agriculture, in addition to extending Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) systems to some 800 km, expanding treatment plants, and completing a study on the construction of an industrial wastewater treatment plant.
NDS-2 encouraged the recycling of construction waste. Construction waste can be recycled to make use of them as construction materials, which reduces the cost of imported raw materials, preserves the environment for future generations, and reduces the logistical burdens of import and transportation. The Economic Infrastructure Sector (EIS) focus of the NDS-2 was on promoting recycling to provide other sources of structural materials, while preserving the environment, developing relevant legislation, providing related databases, promoting research, reviewing legislation on local construction materials, and qualifying workers in the quality control of construction materials.
This outcome contains three targets:
1- Establishing a solid waste management plan, strongly emphasizing recycling.
2- Recycling 38% of solid waste, up from the current 8%.
3- Containing domestic waste generation at 1.6 kilograms per capita per day.
The first two targets have been adjusted to be achieved in accordance with NDS-2. The third target was achieved as the State managed to contain domestic waste generation at 1.3 kg per capita per day, which is better than the specified target. Some projects and activities in support of this outcome were implemented, such as the opening of a Domestic Solid Waste Management Center in Mesaieed and 4 waste transport stations in October 2011, the launch of a tire recycling project in Umm Al Afai in 2012, with a recycling rate of more than 60%, the adoption of a number of construction specifications that include recycled materials, and the development and issuance of national instructions on the management of medical and radioactive waste.