KSA water consumption rate twice the world average

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Updated 06 March 2014

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.


King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, right, receives the closing statement of the S20 group from its chair Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares. (SPA)
Updated 29 September 2020

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

  • The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state

On behalf of King Salman, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday received the closing statement of the Science Group Summit (S20) from the group’s chair, Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares, who is also the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, after a virtual meeting.
Several scientific organizations from the G20 countries took part in the meeting, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia. The S20 group focuses on future health, a circular economy and the digital revolution. The meeting stressed the importance of making decisions based on scientific facts supported by data.
The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state. More than 180 scholars participated in drafting the recommendation. They called for increasing the level of preparedness in the wake of a pandemic. They also recommended consolidating advanced treatment and precision medical research with a particular focus on keeping the costs affordable and treatments accessible to all.
The group also stressed the need to devise policies to face challenges arising from demographic shifts. One of the recommendations includes development of an integrated approach to the extraction of natural resources.
They also urged the relevant authorities to consolidate recycling systems to curb carbon emissions.