Najran region can import water from Sudan, study recommends

Updated 23 November 2013

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.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.