How Saudi Arabia Get Water | Water Demand and Use in Saudi Arabia

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How Saudi Arabia get water? This perhaps become one of the most interesting things in Saudi Arabia. We all know that there is big potential of water supply problems in Saudi Arabia now and in future. The Government should facilitate the water demand and use in Saudi Arabia very well. Until now, the biggest chance how Saudi Arabia get water is from desalination in Saudi Arabia. Based on my experience, water consumption in Saudi Arabia is well served by Saudi National Water Company who manages the desalination plant. We can find the company at the beach of Jeddah. For your information, this desalinated water is not the best drinking water in Saudi Arabia.

How Saudi Arabia Get Water

Since 2000, the government has increasingly relied on the private sector to operate water and sanitation infrastructure, beginning with desalination and wastewater treatment plants. Since the creation of the National Water Company (NWC) in 2008, the operation of urban water distribution systems in the four largest cities has gradually been delegated to private companies as well. The apparent paradox of very low water tariffs and water privatization is explained by government subsidies. The government buys desalinated water from private operators at high prices and resells the bulk water for free. Likewise, the government directly pays private operators that run the water distribution and sewer systems of large cities under management contracts. Furthermore, it fully subsidizes investments in water distribution and sewers. Water utilities are expected to recover an increasing share of their costs from the sale of treated effluent to industries. In January 2016 water and sewer tariffs were increased for the first time in more than a decade, which resulted in discontent and in the sacking of the Minister of Water and Energy Abdullah Al-Hussayen in April 2016.

Water demand and use in Saudi Arabia

Water demand and use in Saudi Arabia is in high demand. Total municipal water use in Saudi Arabia has been estimated at 2.28 cubic kilometers per year in 2010, or 13% of total water use. Agriculture accounts for 83% of water use and industry for only 4%. Demand has been growing at the rate of 4.3% per annum (average for the period 1999-2004), in tandem with urban population growth (around 3%). Water supply is usually not metered, neither at the source nor the distribution point. It is tentatively estimated that average water consumption for those connected to the network is about 235 liters per capita per day, a level lower than in the United States. Below is another information provided by Ali Saad al Tokhais for water consumption in Saudi Arabia.

water consumption in saudi arabia - Ali Saad al Tokhais - how saudi arabia get water

Saudi National Water Company

Saudi National Water Company is the only company working in desalination plant. This is not a government company. You can find the company in several places in Saudi Arabia.

National Water Company
Riyadh Saudi Arabia · +966 9200 01744
Opens at 8:00 AM

National Water Company
Jeddah Saudi Arabia · +966 9200 01744
Opens at 7:30 PM

National Water Company
Mecca Saudi Arabia · +966 12 542 1717

saudi national water company - how saudi arabia get water

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Desalination in Saudi Arabia

Desalination in Saudi Arabia is considered as the biggest in the world. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world. In 2011 the volume of water supplied by the country’s 27 desalination plants at 17 locations was 3.3 million m3/day (1.2 billion m3/year). 6 plants are located on the East Coast and 21 plants on the Red Sea Coast. 12 plants use multi-stage flash distillation (MSF) and 7 plants use multi-effect distillation (MED). Both MSF and MED plants are integrated with power plants (dual-purpose plants), using steam from the power plants as a source of energy. 8 plants are single-purpose plants that use reverse osmosis (RO) technology and power from the grid. By far the largest plant in 2012, Jubail II on the East Coast, is a MSF plant built in subsequent stages since 1983 with a capacity of almost 950,000 m3/day that supplies Riyadh. The largest RO plant in 2012 was located in Yanbu on the Red Sea. It supplies the city of Medina and has a capacity of 128,000 m3/day. The MED plants are much smaller. Mecca receives its water from plants in Jeddah and Shoaiba, just south of Jeddah. Ras al Khair, the largest plant of the country with a capacity of 1 million m3/day was opened in 2014, using RO technology.

Solar desalination. The first contract for a large solar-powered desalination plant in Saudi Arabia was awarded in January 2015 to a consortium consisting of Abengoa from Spain and Advanced Water Technology (AWT), the commercial arm of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The $130 million reverse osmosis plant, co-located with a photovoltaic plant in Al Khafji near the Kuwaiti border, was planned to have a capacity of 60,000 m3/day. The plant would rely on grid power at night and its operator expected to sell electricity to the grid in the future. However, Abengoa filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2015, putting the future of the plant in jeopardy.

Once the first plant is commissioned, a plant ten times larger is due to be built at a hitherto undisclosed location. Both plants are part of a national plan, launched in 2010 and called the King Abdullah Initiative for Solar Water Desalination, to massively expand solar desalination.

Floating desalination. Desalination barges have operated since 2008 to meet high seasonal demand for potable water along the Red Sea coast of the Kingdom. In 2010 the largest floating desalination plant in the world, with a production capacity of 25,000 m3/day (9 million m3/year), was launched on a barge in Yanbu. It is sufficient to supply a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants with drinking water.

desalination in saudi arabia - how saudi arabia get water

Best Drinking Water in Saudi Arabia

Best drinking water in Saudi Arabia. Despite clear improvements the quality of service remains insufficient. For example, few cities enjoy continued service, and water pressure is often inadequate. In Riyadh water was available only once every 2.5 days in 2011, while in Jeddah it is available only every 9 days. This is still better than in 2008, when the respective figures were 5 and 23 days. While systematic data on service quality are now available for several cities, they are not publicly available. In some localities groundwater used for drinking water supply is naturally contaminated with levels of fluoride in excess of the recommended level of 0.7 to 1.2 mg/l. For example, a 1990 study showed that the fluoride level in drinking water in Mecca was 2.5 mg/l. In Riyadh the level of fluoride is reduced far below the recommended level by blending groundwater with desalinated seawater.

Saudi Water Bill

Saudi water bill can be taken from the website of Saudi National Water Company online. You can go through the following link.

In order to get your Saudi water bill, you have to register to the website first.

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See Also :
Distilled Water, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


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