A recent economic study concluded that the Saudi Kingdom will require some 300 billion Saudi riyals ($80 billion) in investment to meet the rising water consumption needs for the next 40 years, reported Al-Watan newspaper.
This serves as one of the reasons for the Saudi government’s move to commission the private sector with building the third and fourth phases of the Shuaiba Water Desalinizing Station along the Red Sea. This station is to supply the Mecca region with 150 million gallons of drinking water per day.
According to the study, the Jeddah region requires SR 23 billion worth of investments in water supply projects by the year 2020. The expanding urbanization process in the city of Jeddah on one hand, along with the rising masses of annual pilgrims on the other, heightens the need for improving drinking water infrastructure in the city.
It is additionally noted that the water situation throughout the Arabian Gulf is expected to further deteriorate during the course of the first quarter of this century. The study estimates that water consumption in the region must grow from 15 billion cubic meters this year to 31 billion cubic meters by 2025, in order to meet rising demand.
In the past 15 years, the Arabian Gulf states have increased their water consumption from six billion cubic meters to 25 billion cubic meters, 85 percent of which was taken up by the agricultural sector. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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