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Monday, April 19, 2021

Qatar mulls doubling penalty for water wastage to QR20,000

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A new draft law in Qatar that makes wasting water and electricity punishable by fines of up to QR20,000 has been ratified by the country’s Cabinet.

It is already against the law in Qatar to keep external lights on between 7am and 4pm, and to use running water from a hose on gardens or to wash cars.

But the new legislation, which amends Law No. 26 of 2008, would double the maximum penalty that the current conservation law allows for violators.

QNA reports that residents and owners of buildings who use drinking water to wash cars or equipment or clean courtyards can be fined up to QR20,000 for the offense. It is also against the law to neglect damaged pipes that cause water leakage.

And those who leave their outside lights on during the day could be fined up to QR10,000. It is not against the law, however, for buildings to leave their lights on at night, a sight that continues to vex some residents.

Previously, state utility provider Kahramaa could impose fines from QR1,000 to QR10,000 on violators. That penalty could be doubled if the violation was repeated within three years of the first penalty.

Enforcement

Though the conservation law has been around for six years, very few residents have actually been punished for flouting it.

Last November, Kahramaa warned more than 2,000 residents through text message that they were violating the law, but did not fine them.

And earlier this year, the utilities company said that inspectors could not carry out their role properly because of legal issues – namely, they required a judge’s permission to enter people’s homes to check their usage.

Water and electricity are in incredibly high demand in Qatar, with Kahramaa saying consumption “saw a great and unexpected increase” over the past year.

Qatar’s residents use an average of 500 liters of water every day, making the country one of the world’s biggest consumers of water – four times as much as many European countries, and 10 times more than many others.

Quality of life, lifestyle and the country’s harsh climate have been cited as the major reasons for the high usage. The fact that water and electricity are provided free of charge to nationals and heavily subsidized for expats is also an issue, environmentalists say.

Just this week, the World Wildlife Federation ranked Qatar number two globally for its large ecological footprint.

That’s down from the top spot two years ago, but the WWF still warned that warned that the state’s consumption remains unsustainable, saying “if all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets.”

Thoughts?

21 COMMENTS

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Jason
Jason
6 years ago

How did they know the original fines were not a successful deterrent if they didn’t actually fine anyone?

Same old story–lots of laws, but no enforcement.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Yep. wanna buy a watch….real genuine fake..always selling on line with no regard for illegality, him and many others…… http://www.facebook.com/shanawaz.kashmiri?fref=nf

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

500 litres per day is an astonishing figure, especially when you take into account the hundreds of thousands of labourers who use will probably be less than 10% of that figure.

Good to see the previous warnings worked, increasing the fine level will make those warnings really bite. If that doesn’t work maybe they could issue final warnings, then really step it up to final, final warnings.

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

What’s the difference if I wash my own car outside or go drive to a Woqod station (or any number of others) and wait in line for 1-2 hours to pay someone else to do it? Are we simply not allowed to wash our vehicles ourselves?

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

All the while idling your car wasting gas and increasing Qatar’s wastage footprint.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

You can stop your car while waiting. Please don’t make ridiculous excuses just because you find wasting water at home more convenient than going to Waqod.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Jason

The difference is that the Waqod station will not wash your car using drinking water. In addition, Waqod is probably paying the real price of water rather than a subsidized one. As for waiting in line, that is not a big deal. If you do not want to wait, make sure you go at times where you wouldn’t find a long queue (early morning, late at night, during weekdays, etc.)

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

So how exactly do we water the grass in our gardens? Are gardens illegal?

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

prohibited to use running water from a hose on gardens or to wash cars. it’s either use a pail & water dipper or don’t get caught gardening / washing car

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  sadam

but they use hoses all the time in Aspire to water ????????

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

nothing is illegal..laws are made but not enforced.. just water your garden nothing will happen.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

The water used for public green areas is “grey” recycled water. That’s why chewing grass in Qatar is not a good idea.

R.D.H
R.D.H
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

chewing grass? People do that?

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

the country has a very harsh climate for half of the year– they should have been more considerate and elaborated the months when electricity consumption is high.

continue subsidize water & electricity — but make locals pay for their utility bills only for sole purpose of raising awareness–they can afford it anyway.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

Everybody should pay for what they use.

NewinDoha
NewinDoha
6 years ago

I am all for the way Qatar shares the wealth with its people and if one of the ways they do this is by giving free water and electricity to citizens then thats great BUT it is open to abuse and it is obviously being abused.

Why not have a system where an allowance of free electricity and water is assessed as the norm, then add 10% for generosity’s sake then make people declare how many people live in a dwelling. Multiply allowance by people and anything over that total allowance you have to pay the market rate charged to expats (which I understand is also subsidised!). This means Kharamaa get the money to invest in buying in water and energy when demand exceeds the allowance.

I know it won’t happen but if you don’t put the ideas out there nothing will ever change

KK
KK
6 years ago

I would like to know, one year from now, how many penalties Kahramaa will have issued? Don’t we know answer already (with some many other rules in Qatar…).

Vanessa
Vanessa
6 years ago

“It is already against the law in Qatar … to use running water from a hose on gardens …”

Meanwhile, some genius decided to set all of the automatic sprinkler systems in the city to water the grass in the afternoon when it’s the hottest. Brilliant!

Chito Meryenda
Chito Meryenda
6 years ago

Can anyone who really knows the law answer my question…

Is it legal to wash my car using pale and bucket?

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Anyone want to buy a water butt to connect to the shower/ bath outflow? perfect for watering the garden.
How do the carwash guys in the supermarket carparks clean without a hosepipe? It works on my car okay.

BigDaddyDK
BigDaddyDK
6 years ago

Watering gardens and washing cars will not result in fines for the people paying the bills. They’ll point the finger at the domestic help and claim it was the gardener’s fault. As a side note, tap water in Doha should not be considered drinking water.

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