Al-Khiran Pearl City is a mega-planned community along the south coast of Kuwait. The development, designed by Buro-Happold (UK), incorporates many kilometers of waterways connecting with the Al-Khiran estuary. Broad canals were excavated into lowlands, and the spoil was used to build up the land for residential development. Construction activities involved mega-scale earthworks and introduction of Arabian Gulf waters into the desert. Phases A1 and A2–A5 (encompassing over 300 hectares), constitute the initial development, which eventually is planned for a population of over 100,000 individuals. The first phases included addition of over 18 km of new shoreline.
CSE along with a subconsultant partner, Coastal Science Associates (CSA), was retained by La’Ala Al-Kuwait Real Estate Company to review the design and evaluate environmental impacts. CSE/ CSA’s work included:
- Preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for Phase A1(1998) and Phases A2-A5(2004)
- Meetings with Kuwait Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)
- Design of a postproject monitoring program involving biological sampling and water-quality measurements and coastal process observations
- Recommendations and plans for wetland creation (mitigation)
- Planting plan for mangroves (re-introduction of this important plant to southern Kuwait)
- Monitoring of impacts during construction of over 18 km of new shoreline and waterways
CSE scientists reviewed existing literature and reports, conducted detailed field measurements (biota, water quality, currents) and prepared EIA reports for the client and EPA. The Phase A1 report and Phase A2-A5 report (121 pp + Appendices) summarized available information on the 300 hectare site and made specific recommendations for enhancing the project with new wetlands. The first phase more than doubled the area of waterways within the Al-Khiran estuary. CSE/CSA scientists worked closely with the project engineers, Buro Happold, as well as the Kuwait EPA and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) to ensure that the project was conducted in an environmentally compatible manner as possible, given the conditions of the site. CSE/CSA conducted two years of semi-annual monitoring of Phase A1 to document water quality, colonization of new waterways by marine fauna and flora and to advise the client on other opportunities for site enhancement.