Water Crisis Worsens as Jeddah Sweats out Summer

Published May 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A chronic water shortage in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port city of Jeddah has worsened with the onset of summer with demand more than twice supply, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Saturday. 

Agriculture minister Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Mummar heard complaints from frustrated citizens during a tour of the city this week, the agency added.  

A spokesman for the regional water authorities told SPA that consumption increased dramatically in the summer months as "two million visitors spend part of their summer vacation in Jeddah." 

According to AFP, the water table has dropped substantially due to prolonged drought over the western coast of the kingdom, where summer temperatures climb to 50 degrees Centigrade. 

Total water availability in the Jeddah area is 430,000 cubic meters a day, mostly from desalination plants, while demand is about 900,000 cubic meters, added AFP. 

Most areas of Jeddah receive tap water only twice a week, and while hospitals, government bodies and mosques receive a continuous supply, some people have complained of being cut off for two weeks at a time, said AFP - (Several Sources) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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