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.


Al-Sudais condemns Riyadh attack

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. (Supplied)
Updated 59 min 31 sec ago
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Al-Sudais condemns Riyadh attack

  • The secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars noted the efforts of security services in Zulfi to preserve the safety of the country and protect its people

RIYADH: Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has condemned the terrorist attack carried out in Zulfi on Sunday.
“Such terrorist acts are a clear contravention of Shariah laws and a violation of the Sunnah of the Prophet, and are nothing but a trick by the enemies of Islam to create strife and turbulence, targeting the security, stability and capabilities of the Kingdom,” he said.
Al-Sudais praised the courage of security services who were able to thwart the attack, and he urged Saudis to support their efforts to prevent future offenses by reporting suspicious activity.
He added that criminal acts such as the attempt in Zulfi endangered the security and stability of the Kingdom, and concluded his statement by asking God to protect the country and heal those wounded in the attack. The secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars noted the efforts of security services in Zulfi to preserve the safety of the country and protect its people.
In a statement, it thanked those involved, and said that their success in thwarting the terrorists, who targeted the investigation center in Zulfi, was a clear endorsement of the rigorous procedures and efforts put in place by the state and others to maintain peace in the Kingdom.