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.


Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan, undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research

Updated 21 min 49 sec ago
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Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan, undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Hamdan has been the undersecretary of the Department of Publications Affairs and Scholarly Research since June 2018. 

Al-Hamdan recently announced that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance had started preparations for its Hajj season book distribution program, which will oversee the distribution of 8 million copies of the Holy Qur’an, ritual books and manuals to pilgrims. Fifty-two books in more than 30 languages have reportedly been approved as part of the program.

Al-Hamdan also noted that the Islamic electronic library has created a website containing all of the ministry’s written and audio versions of books related to Hajj and Umrah: www.islamic-ebook.com. The portal will be made available for public use at every international airport in the Kingdom, several exit-port centers and some mosques and “important sites.”

In 2018, Al-Hamdan was part of two significant Saudi Arabian delegations overseas. In November, he traveled to the 31st Conference of Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The conference explored the possibilities of teaching Arabic in Latin America and the Caribbean, and was organized by the Center for Islamic Advocacy in Brazil in cooperation with the Islamic Ministry in the Kingdom.

Al-Hamdan also visited several cities in Serbia where he met with Chief of Scholars in Belgrade Sheikh Saad Nasovic, and other prominent figures from the Muslim community in Serbia.