Saudi Arabia: $800 Mn Invested in Water Projects to Serve Pilgrims
Governor of Makkah Region and Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Khalid al-Faisal inaugurated several water projects in Makkah and the Holy Sites to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.
The projects will pump additional quantities for seasonal consumption by about 400 thousand cubic meters, which benefit the pilgrims in Makkah and Holy Sites during Hajj rituals.
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen al-Fadley said the inauguration of the six major water projects confirmed the leadership’s attention to the water sector and its services in Makkah and the holy sites.
The projects were established by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation and the National Water Company.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Fadley announced that the total value of the executed projects reached $800 million for the 15 million pilgrims Saudi Arabia expects to receive by 2020 and 30 million by 2030.
He explained that his ministry is keen to ensure that all water projects and plans are based on the objectives of the National Water Strategy and the comprehensive water plan in the Kingdom to reach a sustainable water sector that develops and maintains water resources.
These projects include transferring desalinated water from the plant in Shuaibah to Makkah and the holy sites, at a total cost of more than $233 million.
They also include the Shuaibah II Water Development Project with a capacity of about 250,000 meters of a cost exceeding $313 million.
In addition to that, projects involve the water networks, household connections, strategic tanks, and connecting sewage networks and connections, at a cost of over $160 million in a number of neighborhoods of Makkah and the holy sites.
The Minister stressed that these projects are always aimed at raising the readiness to increase the capacity of the water sector, providing pilgrims services.
These projects are mostly designed and implemented by Saudi competencies, indicated Fadley, adding that one of these projects was implemented in collaboration with the private sector.
On foreign investments in the water sector, Fadley announced there is a new plant under construction in Rabigh, another in al-Shuqaiq, and soon in Ras al-Khair and Jubail, in addition to the treatment plant in Taif and Jeddah.
Shuaibah II Water Development Project Company (STPC) is a company developed to meet accelerating demand for desalinated water in Saudi Arabia. Utilizing seawater reverse osmosis technology, the plant is expected to have the capacity of 250,000 m3 per day. This desalination plant will contribute to tackling the water security challenges in the Kingdom, the world’s largest producer of desalinated water.
The National Water Company has implemented the strategic reservoir project, estimated at a total capacity of 560 thousand cubic meters, and a cost exceeding $48.5 million. It will serve the increased demand for water in Masjid al-Haram.