has few natural resources other than oil, a gigantic natural harbour,
fisheries, and a few sparse water supplies. Oil is
prime natural resource on which its economy depends. The country is
reckoned to have reserves of 94.8 billion barrels, about 9.6% of the
world's total. This ranks it third in the world behind
and Iraq. At current levels of production, Kuwait has enough oil to last
for more than 100 years.
Kuwait bay is a generously sized natural harbour and has always
been a prime access point for trade entering and leaving the hinterland
of northeast Arabia and
Iraq. Before oil was discovered, it was the country's most valuable
natural resource and today, as the location of Kuwait's main commercial
port, its economic importance continues.
Fifty years ago Kuwait was self-sufficient in marine foods and, despite
a 20 fold increase in population, fishing still provides 50% of the
country's seafood requirement. But stocks are being depleted through
over fishing and the breeding grounds are being polluted by increased
sediment due to marsh-draining in southern Iraq.
only reserves of pure drinking water are in northern areas [Kuwait
map] of Ar-Rawdatain and Umm Al-Aish. The rest of its naturally
occurring water, which is found in Sulaibiya, Shigaya, Abdali, Wafra and
Umm Qdair, is brackish and can only be used, in its natural state, for