KSA water consumption rate twice the world average

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Updated 06 March 2014
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KSA water consumption rate twice the world average

A professor at King Saud University (KSU) says that water consumption in Saudi Arabia is higher than in countries blessed with rechargeable aquifers and replenishable resources.
Mirza Barjees Baig, a Canadian professor at KSU’s department of agricultural extension and rural society, told Arab News that the average water consumption in the Kingdom is double the world average.
“Demand for water by households is growing at the rate 7.5 percent annually. This increasing demand seems roughly three times the population growth rate in the Kingdom,” Baig said, adding that the situation is alarming.
According to him, water consumption (by households) exceeds eight million cubic meters per day, and it is an unprecedented record ever for Saudi Arabia. On average, the daily per capita consumption of water in the Kingdom is about 265 liters, he noted.
He said it is unfortunate that all the old conservation practices of the past and ways of using water wisely have disappeared worsening the situation, despite the fact that the arid conditions have stayed the same, and the groundwater reservoirs and resources are shrinking by the hour.
The scientist said that the general public and society must know that desalination is a very expensive way of obtaining water, and in the long run would become unsustainable.
The production of desalinated water uses up to eight times more energy than using groundwater and accounts for up to 20 percent of the energy consumption in Saudi Arabia, Baig explained. In addition, there are great environmental challenges associated with the whole process.
He said: “Water is vital to life and Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to its water resources. Even then, it faces severe arid conditions, scanty rainfalls and continuous influx of overseas workers and rising population per annum.
“The Kingdom receives very little rain, has no permanent rivers or lakes and has limited groundwater reservoirs, which are depleting at an alarming rate. In such a situation, it seems imperative to come up with the best water conservation measures and methods.”
In the past, he said, people in the Arabian Peninsula were well aware of the value of water which they highlighted in their rhymes and poems. They advised the younger generation not to waste water. They domesticated the camel, the most rational water consumer in the world, and cultivated the palm tree, which survives on very little water of any quality.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.