Damage to two huge pipes that carry 600,000 cubic meters of water daily to Riyadh from the country's eastern area has caused an acute water shortage for the Saudi Arabian capital's four million residents, reported the Gulf News on Sunday.
Residents carrying cans of water and standing in queues in the streets have become a common sight.
Water prices have soared dramatically, said the paper, adding that the price of a water tanker, which normally costs 120 riyals to hire, had reached 1,200 riyals.
The ongoing water shortage has now entered the eighth day. Two of the four huge water pipes buried three meters under the ground north-east of the capital have been damaged.
A source at the water department in Riyadh attributed the damage to the old decayed state of the pipes, which were set up 22 years ago.
He said there was damage to the pipe's numerous bends and joints, adding that repairs would take some time, although work on one of the pipes would be done by next Tuesday, and the other would be ready a week after that.
As a temporary solution, the department has asked some contractors to provide 160 water tankers to distribute water, around the clock, at a cost determined by the department, not to exceed 120 riyals per tanker.
But such an arrangement is not enough to cope with the water requirements of the city's residents, since it would provide only 45,000 cubic meters per day. The daily consumption of water in the capital is 2.2 million cubic meters – Albawaba.com
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