Water Consumption in Saudi Arabia

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Water Consumption in Saudi Arabia

By | Feb. 2013
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires water for sustainable social and economic development. Given that the Kingdom boasts approximately 53 hectares of arable land (Library of Congress, 2006), it is important that the agricultural and industrial sectors as well as the rural and metropolitan population are well provided for with a consistent water supply. However, Saudi Arabia lies in the tropical and subtropical desert region of Asia. Therefore, kingdom is arid, thus receives little rainfall and is not endowed with permanent fresh water sources besides the 1750 km coastline of the Red Sea and the 480 km of coastline on the Persian Gulf (Library of Congress, 2006).

This research paper will look at the water resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ways in which the available water is consumed. It will also examine the various ways it is dealing with the challenge of water to cater for the country’s diverse needs.

Being an arid area, rainfall in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is scarce and unreliable. Heavy rainfall sometimes occurs sometimes occurs for short spurts resulting in flash floods and surface runoffs mostly in the western and south western regions. Saudi Arabia, therefore, depends on four main water resources: Desalinated water from the sea, surface water in the mountainous regions, non-renewable ground water from fossil aquifers renewable ground water from alluvial aquifers and treated waste water.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water from the sea. The process of desalination, under the Saline Water Conservation Corporation produced 1.03 km3 of water in 2006 (SWCC, 2006). This water is mostly used in domestic and industrial used in the urban areas. It caters for up to 48% of the total urban uses (SWCC 2006). Some of the desalinated water is also exported. Reservoirs also hold approximately 10 million m3 of desalinated water for future use (SWCC, 2006).

The total non-renewable ground water...