Water Resources

In a country with the geography and climate of the Kingdom, water is a natural resource which must be highly valued and conserved. The Kingdom draws its water from four main sources:

- Surface water, which is to be found predominantly in the west and south-west of the country. In 1985 (1405/06 AH), surface water provided 10% of the Kingdom's supply.

- Ground water, held in aquifers, some of which are naturally replenished, while others are non-renewable. In 1985 (1405/06 AH), ground water provided 84% of the Kingdom's supply but it is noteworthy that most of this water came from non-renewable aquifers.

- Desalinated seawater, a source of water production in which the Kingdom is now a world leader. Desalination technology, which also produces electricity, has reached an advanced stage of technology in the Kingdom and, by 1985 (1405/06 AH), this source was providing 5% of the Kingdom's supply.

-Reclaimed wastewater, a source of water which is still in its early stages but which offers scope for considerable expansion. In 1985 (1405/06 AH), the reclamation of wastewater provided 1% of the Kingdom's supply.

According to the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, in 2000 (1420/21 AH) there were 27 desalination plants producing 814 million cubic meters of desalinated water (more than 600 million gallons a day) and providing more than 70 per cent of the required drinking water. Work was underway to build three desalination plants at Khobar, Jubail and Shuaiba.

Related Items

Jubail Desalination Plant Click to view high resolution version

Jubail Desalination Plant

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Profile of Saudi Arabia

The Country Profile contains thousands of pages of information on every aspect of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including its geography, history and development (political, economic and social).