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Kasia Pearce
Communication Manager for Middle East
Published on June 14, 2019

Reading time : 3 min

Reclamation and Rehabilitation of Al Karaana lagoons in Qatar

Water reserves and animal sanctuaries are extremely rare in Qatar. As part of the Al Karaana lagoon rehabilitation project, Egis and its client do their best to maintain Al Karaana as a nature reserve and apply sustainable solutions to avoid further loss of amenity. The Project includes four major stages: design, cleaning and removal of all sources of pollution, rehabilitation of the lagoon to "no-development" land status and protection of the existing habitats.

Al Karaana lagoon

- Crédits : Egis

Al Karaana Lagoon was constructed in 2007 and is approximately 4 km2 in size. It contains several old lagoons. Due to their location adjacent to the water treatment plant, around 200,000 m3 of treated wastewater were poured into lagoons on daily basis. Additionally, 100,000 m3 of domestic and industrial untreated wastewater were received on site via sewage trucks. Over the years, this has caused soil contamination, odor nuisances and environmental pollution.

The Client, Qatar Public Works Authority – Ashghal, together with the Ministry of Municipalities and were looking into several solutions, including covering the lagoons and closing the area. The ecological survey showed however that the lagoon area was still remarkably very much alive:

  • Around 55 species of birds were recorded, of which 2 species are marked as “Vulnerable” and 4 as “Near threatened”, according to the Red List of Threaten Species 2015, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • 4 species of mammals were found on adjacent land
  • 2 species of reptiles, including one listed as “Vulnerable”
  • Various species of fish introduced to the Lagoon by birds

The findings led to the decision that the lagoons would be reclaimed and rehabilitated, creating an important animal settlement for the summer periods when fresh water is at scarce.

Minimizing the pollution and preserving the settled wild life

When Egis secured the Pre and Post Contract Professional Consultancy Services for the Reclamation of Al Karaana lagoons, the proposed solutions were to minimize the pollution and preserve the settled wild life for a long term:

  • waste water evaporation (volume estimated to 4.7 mln m3)
  • remediation of approx. around 2.7 mln m3 of polluted soils, including 0.5 mln m3 heavily polluted, with lime treatment  and using thermal desorption
  • storing the most polluted soils in a secure landfill
  • creation of a permanent unloading pond for industrial water, to be used as emergency storage area
  • development of a zone dedicated to wildlife conservation, supplied by the treated water coming from the adjacent water treatment plant, divided into 3 areas:
    • exclusively allocated to wildlife to preserve fauna and flora during summer time
    • supplied with water from the overflown zone 1, equally dedicated to conservation of fauna and flora, but can remain dry during the hottest summer months
    • supplied with water from zone 2.



The animals are already coming back to Al Karaana lagoons, occupying the restored ponds. First baby bird was born in the lagoon, truly marking the ecological win. The area turns green with planted trees and seeds.

The rehabilitation of Al Karaana lagoons has been a great success, although the works are still ongoing on site. The project has been widely recognized as an environmental accomplishment and in line with Qatar’s aim for the sustainability and fight with the climate change.

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