As Saudi Arabia faces an increasing demand for water to support its rapid population and economic growth, GE held the Saudi “Used to Useful” Water Reuse Summit to explore water reuse solutions that can support the Kingdom and the region in securing a sustainable water supply for the future.
Held under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Abdullah Bin Abdul Rahman Al Hussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the GE Saudi “Used to Useful” Summit is a close collaboration between the Ministry of Water and Electricity, the National Water Company and leading Saudi water organizations. It featured industry and government global leaders who gathered in Riyadh to discuss the growing role of water reuse and share their experiences on the required technologies and enabling policies that can support the Kingdom in its mission to protect this precious resource.
Wastewater reuse is increasingly gaining attention as a sustainable way to manage scarce water supplies and several Middle Eastern countries are evaluating stringent reuse goals. For example, Saudi Arabia has mandated a target of 11 percent of its water use to come from treated wastewater, which is suitable for domestic and industrial uses such as landscaping.
“With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East, wastewater and water reuse issues need to be addressed now, in order to sustain this rapid growth,” said H.E. Eng. Abdullah Bin Abdul Rahman Al Hussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “GE has been a reliable energy partner to Saudi Arabia for almost 80 years, delivering power generation and water technology to support our energy needs. To achieve water security, we are keen for this Summit to produce innovative water solutions to support us meet our water objectives.”
During the Water Reuse Summit, GE and recognized specialists presented and shared research and case studies from around the world that describe the multifaceted nature of the water scarcity challenge. GE also presented its research on various incentive policies and structures to increase water reuse and recycling in a white paper entitled Creating Effective Incentives for Water Reuse and Recycling. The white paper also highlights the critical role played by a stable and well-defined regulatory structure towards increasing the adoption of water reuse in any country.
Discussions focused on water reuse policy, removing barriers to water recycling, enabling water reuse, the economics of water reuse and innovations in water technologies.
“The GE Saudi Water Reuse Summit reflects GE’s active response to the Kingdom’s call for more public private sector initiatives to collaborate on identifying energy and water solutions tailored to the country’s needs,” said Joseph Anis, GE Energy’s president and CEO for the Middle East. “This is part of GE’s ongoing and long-term commitment to support Saudi Arabia in achieving its energy ambitions, and a sustainable water future for the Kingdom and the region.”
Saudi Arabia’s advanced treated water reuse capacity is growing at more than 30 percent annually and is expected to reach 2.2 million cubic meters per day by 2016, from a current level of 260,000 cubic meters per day.
GE has been active in Saudi Arabia for almost 80 years, supplying technology and service solutions to help the Kingdom meet its energy infrastructure needs, including power generation and water management. In addition, GE's suite of broad portfolio of technology solutions and services are also instrumental in helping boost usable water supplies in the region. GE's solutions cover a breadth of needs including desalination, municipal, utility, industrial wastewater, process chemicals and separation, product water and residential products.