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New water strategy planned

New water strategy planned

Governor of the General Organization for Water Desalination (GOWD) Abdul…...

Governor of the General Organization for Water Desalination (GOWD) Abdul Rahman Al-Ibrahim has stressed the importance of rationalizing water consumption in the Kingdom, pointing out that 10 percent of water saved translates into 10 percent savings in finance and building resources.
Speaking about the loss incurred by the Saudi economy because of water wastage, Al-Ibrahim said: "The role of the GOWD is to deliver desalinated water to areas in the Kingdom where no water resources are available, such as majority of the coastal areas."
"We are in the process of finalizing a strategic plan following a survey conducted by the Ministry of Water which covered areas that are badly in need of water supplies," he said.
Stating that the ministry was taking all measures to provide water, he said: "Work is on currently to complete a water network that extends from Taif to Baha, which will carry 80,000 cubic meters of water to the city once it becomes operational before the forthcoming summer season."
Water consumption in Saudi Arabia this year exceeded 8 million cubic meters for the first time ever. This translates into 800,000 water trucks with a load capacity of 10 tons each. Water consumption per capita in the Kingdom is 265 liters, which is twice the per capita consumption in the European Union.
Desalinated sea water accounts for 60 percent of the Kingdom's consumption, with the remainder coming from underground wells. All areas of the Kingdom have set record figures in water consumption, Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen said last August.
The GOWD governor said his organization will celebrate in the coming days the 40th anniversary of its establishment. "Some of the stations were set up 25 years ago, but we managed to extend their virtual life to 35 years," he said, adding that there is a comprehensive strategy to replace these stations with more efficient and technology advanced ones.
He said a strategic panel was formed in this regard. "The panel will include representatives of the Ministries of Water and Electricity, Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Finance," he said.
He stressed that the main challenge faced by the Kingdom was to increase water production by 50 percent, which would lead to fuel consumption going up proportionately to produce such quantities. The other challenge, he said, was to increase production of electricity by 100 percent.
The organization is also working on an alternative sources of energy, he said, besides using renewable energy. "We plan to coordinate with King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology within the framework of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Abdullah's initiative concerning the use of technology in desalinating water harnessing solar energy," he said.
The GOWD will also take up work to establish the largest station for desalinating water using solar energy at Al-Khafji city, with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meter of desalinated water. The manufacture of solar cells for the plant was almost complete, he added.
"We now use four sources of fuel, including gas and heavy fuel. Daily consumption of equivalent fuel in the country amounts to 300 b/d, but 50 percent of our consumption depends on gas supplies," Al-Ibrahim said.
He said the privatization of the organization was high on the agenda of the High Economic Council.
"There are great opportunities to make use of the assets available, not just water," he said.
In this regard, he referred to the desalination station at Shuqaiq which extends over 1,000 km across the mountains where the cost of transferring water costs SR9 billion to SR10 billion.

source:www.zawya.com

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