RiyadhThe National Water Company (NWC) entered into an agreement with the Tatweer Company for Educational Services to foster awareness among students on water conservation as well as address the issue of water scarcity in the schools.
The NWC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tatweer for planning an awareness campaign and educational program to create a water conservation culture among the young generation and teach them about conservation habits and the optimal use of water.
NWC is a joint stock company fully owned by the government to provide water and wastewater treatment services as per the latest international standards, while the Tatweer Company for Educational Services is the leading company in the field of education development to provide innovative solutions giving children and youth access to the best education.
Deputy Minister for Water Services and NWC CEO Mohammed Ahmed Al-Mowkley and Tatweer CEO Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Zughaibi signed the deal at the NWC headquarters in Riyadh.
Al-Mowkley said: “The MoU is part of the NWC’s plan to launch its national program for water conservation in line with Vision 2030 and the initiative aims to enhance water consumption habits over the next four years to achieve normal global ranges.”
Al-Zughaibi said the partnership will succeed in achieving the aims and objectives of this initiative. “There will be an educational program for preventing counter-productive water habits,” he added.
According to a UN Development Program (UNDP) report published in 2003, the Arab world is facing an escalating water crisis that demands quick answers in order to avoid major consequences. The report, titled “Water Governance in the Arab Region: Managing Scarcity and Securing the Future” said out of a total of 22 countries, 15 states fall into the “water poor” category.
As the MoU, he said, aims to foster awareness and provide the best way to instill a culture of water conservation in the future generation, the joint initiative will be supporting educational and awareness activities in order to raise community’s awareness of the high costs incurred to produce and distribute potable water in hope to reduce such costs and address bad consumption habits.
Potable water scarcity is a stark reality in the Gulf region. As the freshwater makes up a very small fraction of the available water the sustainable availability of potable water is a priority in the region mostly surrounded by sea full of saline water.
Another related report said while nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh and the rest is saline and ocean-based. Moreover, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.
Hence, the government is making concerted efforts to foster awareness for water conservation and upgrade, expand and transform the water sector for sustainable availability of potable water.
Notably, the Kingdom recently unveiled plans to spend around $490 million toward development of major water projects in the Tabuk region, which has witnessed many achievements in the water sector in the past 12 months, including expansion of drinking water and wastewater networks, as well as reaching a number of districts and villages in different governorates of the region.