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Najran region can import water from Sudan, study recommends

A recent study has called for the importation of water from Sudan on an experimental basis to augment groundwater sources in the Najran region.
According to local media, the report, drafted ahead of the upcoming 6th Riyadh Economic Forum, urged the Ministries of Agriculture, Water and Electricity to approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work out international agreements for the import of water and to ensure rights.
The study, entitled “Water, an economic resource imperative for sustainable development,” said water could be a key economic resource for the Kingdom if certain conditions are met.
It said that information, including the volume of water available and used, availability of data on water, rationalization of consumption rates in different sectors and pricing of water for each type of use, must be made available.
The best method for water management in the Kingdom should be based on regions, provinces or cities since the Kingdom spans a vast area and that there is enormous disparity in climatic conditions and rainfall levels, which may entail different approaches in the development of water resources, according to the study.
It also called for putting a pricing mechanism for each region or city based on supply and demand and developing and running rain water on a regional basis.
The study emphasized the importance of conducting annual surveys on water consumption in different sectors and establishing a center for water information, which will come under the Ministry of Water and Electricity.
The findings stressed the need to bridge the gap in water supplies, as studies earlier indicated the possibility of groundwater depletion within 45 to 90 years. It urged finding ways and means to bring the gap to zero point in an 80-year period.
The study called for structural reforms in the water sector and the establishment of water councils in different regions and provinces to be headed by either the governor of the region or officials entrusted to run water resources in each area.

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