New trends to achieve water security in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is moving towards restructuring the water sector and enabling the participation of the private sector in it, to reduce public spending on the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) in light of the heavy dependence on water desalination. With the private sector, and to become a leader in the desalination industry renewed its activity to keep pace with local and global changes.

The decision to privatize the General Corporation for Water Desalination and the establishment of the Water Transport and Technologies Company aims to reform the water sector to ensure sustainable development of water resources and provide high quality services at reasonable prices as planned. In addition to working on a commercial basis through a process of change in ownership or management of institutions, projects and public services from the government sector to the private sector, depending on market mechanisms and competition, by applying a variety of methods ranging from contracts of management, operation and lease, financing or the sale or partial sale of assets to private sector.

The Water Transport and Technology Company (WTTC) will manage and operate water transmission and storage systems in the Kingdom. It will also have the right to establish and develop water transmission and operation systems, in addition to running the Desalination Research and Training Center.

The privatization decision will enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy, push the private sector towards investment and active participation in the economy and expand citizens’ participation in productive assets.

Water demand in Saudi Arabia, estimated at 24.8 billion cubic meters in 2015, is witnessing a steady annual increase of 7%, with the agriculture sector accounting for the largest water consumer in the Kingdom, accounting for 84% of total water demand, and the use of water in the agricultural sector reflects an environmental challenge. Due to its dependence on non-renewable resources, which represent 90% of the total water supplied to the sector.

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