Keywords: water conservation policies, GCC countries, AHP, analytical hierarchy process, Gulf Cooperation Council, decision support systems, DSS, water supply, private sector, incentives, customer pricing, subsidy reduction, wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, water audit, water loss
Water conservation in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: a decision support system approach
Freshwater sources are very limited in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Their capital abundance and coastal locations enabled them to produce freshwater through desalination and supply water to customers at highly subsidised price. However, due to the sharp increase in population and misuse of freshwater, there are shortages in water supply. The GCC countries need to take appropriate measures to tackle this problem. The study uses the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) as a decision tool for finding the best course of actions to bring about water conservation by soliciting water experts' opinion. In this work, four factors are considered along with ten policies. The study found that the five most important policy instruments for promoting water conservations in the GCC countries are: participation of the private sector; incentive customer pricing; reducing subsidies; accelerating wastewater treatment and reuse; and water audit and water loss.