Kuwait is located in the northwestern region of the Arabian Gulf, and has a coastline of approximately 170 km which extends between the latitudes of 28° 32′ N and 30° 00′ N. Kuwait landmass is an extension of the Arabian desert, and has an extremely hot and arid climate. The average yearly rainfall is only 100 mm, and the summer period is usually dry, with most rain falling during the cooler winter and early spring seasons. Summer temperatures on land can rise above 50° C and fall close to freezing in winter, and strong winds are common throughout the year. The marine environment in Kuwait is generally shallow, and hence, it is strongly influenced by these severe climatic conditions. Consequently, the northern Gulf region represents an extreme environment for corals, which limits the development of coral reefs. The major natural environmental stresses on the marine environment include high and low temperatures, high turbidity and sedimentation, and elevated salinity. Marine related activities and coastal developmental projects also have remarkable impacts. Like-wise, the terrestrial environment is impacted by extreme temperatures, dust storms, and low rainfall, in addition to the different human activities year round.
Brief Introduction on KISR
Upon the request of his highness the Amir Sheik Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, when he was the Finance Minister, and based on an agreement between the Arab Oil Company and the State of Kuwait, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research was founded as a center for applied research and development (R&D) in 1967. An Amiri decree (no. 28) issued in 1981 granted KISR its own charter. The primary goal set for KISR in this decree was to conduct R&D for the purpose of maximizing the country’s social and economic development; advancement of its industry; protection of its environment and natural resources; development of its water and energy resources and improvement of the country’s food-production capabilities.
KISR’s research and technology capability has been organized into four Centers and two additional research units. The Centers are Petroleum, Water, Energy and Buildings, and Environment and Life Sciences. The two research units are the Techno-economics Division and the Software Systems Development Department.
KISR’s headquarters and main research facilities are located in Shuwaikh. Additional satellite facilities include Fisheries and Marine Research facility in Salmiyah and Al-Khiran; a Water Desalination Facility in Al-Doha; a Wastewater Treatment facility in Sulaybia; an Agriculture and Landscape Research Stations in Kabd and Salmiya, respectively; and a Petroleum Research Center in Al- Ahmadi. KISR has over 70 specialized research laboratories in addition to semi-commercial pilot plants for petroleum refining, water desalinization, and biotechnology.
KISR also hosts and operates several National Technical Centers including the Seismic Activities Monitoring Station; Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization Isotope Monitoring Station; Kuwait Radiation Monitoring Stations; a Remote Sensing Lab (satellite imaging); a Climatology Center; and the National Scientific and Technical Information Center.