Facts and Statistics

One of its key initiatives is the Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism destination with islands, nature and culture, which aims to set a new standard of sustainable development by optimizing its power, potable and sewage water, as well as solid waste. Spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the project is set to welcome around 1 million visitors by 2030. “We have islands, coastal areas, desert, and more than 100 mountains with over 50 volcanoes located 550 km north of Jeddah,” Martin Stahl, infrastructure director at the Red Sea Development Co., said on Monday at the Water Forum, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. “At 28,000 sq. km, it’s nearly the size of Belgium, with 90 unspoiled islands, 200 km of coastline, and nearly 50 hotels to be built.” The company plans to operate the largest battery plant in the world, producing 250 megawatts of diversified power, fully renewable, including wind and solar energy, and 56,000 cubic meters of water per day. “We’re trying to optimize water demand,” Stahl said. “We’ll have two plants, a photovoltaic one south of the development, one in the north, and a pilot plant for brine treatment, a wind energy plant, as well as our own nursery in agriculture and contracted wetland.”

Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE) has restructured the water sector and prepared a National Water Strategy (NWS) to be used as a roadmap towards sustainable water usage.

The backbone of the NWS is water sustainability which starts by considering non-renewable groundwater as a strategic resource that must be protected for future generations. Thus, it is imperative to promote the efficient usage of water that will generate the maximum economic benefits along with the other major sectors of oil, land, labour, and capital. 

As a result, the KSA Council of Ministers has introduced a resolution (KSA 2007; Al-Hussayen 2007) that enforces a more orderly use of water resources, removes the incentives for wheat and fodder production and establishes mechanisms for better control and protection of all water resources. Consequently, the KSA government has mounted a national campaign for residential water conservation with the following objectives:

Identifying the current and future water situation and emphasizing on the importance of conservation for sustainability;

Taking practical measures and adopting a clear and direct approach to inform and educate the public about conservation and addressing all sections of society;

Highlighting the Kingdom’s high per capita consumption and the low tariff paid by consumers for water compared to other countries.

Acquainting the public with the conservation tools and encouraging them to use them.

In an effort to achieve the objectives of the national campaign, the NWS has introduced a four-stage program of free distribution of water conservation tools. The first three stages targeted the residential sector, government/public sectors, and private sector. Moreover, the fourth stage is aimed at the distribution of water saving showerheads at nominal prices (MOWE 2012). 

Parallel with the introduction effort, the government has mounted a widespread media campaign to increase the awareness of the public regarding water conservation. Also, a woman’s permanent exhibition for water conservation has been established. The aim of the exhibition is to convey the message of the necessity for water conservation to the women in the Kingdom. Documentary films on water conservation have been screened and practical demonstrations of conservation tools held. 

A women’s symposium on water conservation was organized on November 22, 2005 (MOWE 2012). The symposium received considerable media coverage and public recognition.

The first stage of the campaign was announced and the first conservation tools bag handed out on February 10, 2004. A total of more than 34 million conservation tools were distributed to around 18 million residents, which is equivalent to 80 % of occupied residences (MOWE 2012). The water conservations tools bag includes water saving showerheads and faucets, 3-l sized toilet-tank-bank replacement bags, and leak detection pills. This campaign is considered to be the largest water conservation campaign of its kind in the world in terms of quantity and quality. The average savings have been 30 % of house water consumption, which is estimated to be 524,000 m3/day (MOWE 2012). The expected annual financial saving resulting from the installation of these tools is estimated at about SAR 900 million (MOWE 2012). The second stage that targeted public sector facilities such as government buildings, schools, mosques, parks, and airports was inaugurated on March 15, 2005. Almost 2.1 million conservation tools were distributed and installed (MOWE 2012). The third stage that targeted the private sector facilities such as hotels, furnished flats, and residential compounds was inaugurated on September 21, 2005. More than 2.5 million conservation tools were distributed and installed (MOWE 2012). In the fourth stage, private sector facilities such as hotels, furnished flats, and residential compounds were targeted. A number of sale points were opened for distributing the water saving showerheads at a nominal price to encourage their usage by the public. More than 592,000 water saving showerheads have been distributed and installed (MOWE 2012).

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