Saudi Arabia plans to rationalize groundwater consumption

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture confirmed recently that the water sector in the Kingdom is moving forward towards enhancing water security and making maximum use of available water resources.

Undersecretary for Water Affairs, Abdulaziz bin Muharib Al Shaibani, said; on the occasion of the celebration of the World Water Day, which falls on March 22 of each year, and this year bears the slogan: “Groundwater has made the invisible visible”.

Despite the desert environment that dominates the geography of the Kingdom, the absence of permanent rivers or surface water, and low rainfall rates, the water sector has been able to provide the best services to citizens, residents, and visitors in all regions of the Kingdom.

This requires maintaining the achievements made, following up on the implementation of the programs of the National Water Strategy 2030, and activating the water system to ensure a sustainable and safe water future.”

Al Shaibani added; According to a statement by the ministry today, Tuesday, the ministry oversees more than 8,700 wells it has dug to secure drinking water throughout the kingdom.

It also supervises the operation and management of 563 dams and seeks to enhance the utilization of rainwater by planning the construction of about 1,000 new dams.

Al-Shaibani stressed that groundwater represents a strategic stockpile for the Kingdom, and therefore the ministry has put in place a series of controls to prevent its depletion and wasteful consumption, especially since a large part of the groundwater is not renewable.

He explained that the agricultural sector represents the largest consumer of groundwater, with approximately 85% of the total groundwater consumed, and the ministry is working to control consumption to achieve a balance between development requirements, food security, and water sustainability.

It is noteworthy that World Water Day is held every year to highlight the importance of water, and to raise awareness of the presence of two billion people in the world who do not have access to safe water.

This day provides an opportunity to take action to confront the global water crisis, and one of the main areas of focus for World Water Day is to support the achievement of the sixth goal of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which is to ensure the availability of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

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