Saudi Arabia is located in the desert and doesn’t have a permanent water resource such as a lake, river, or waterfall.
However, it is commendable that the kingdom continues to meet 100% of water demand despite the fact that its water resources have not increased and demand is constantly increasing.
The kingdom is exploring new methods and techniques in order to fulfill the increasing demand of water. All the matters related to water are handled by the Ministry of Water and Power.
The primary source of water in Saudi Arabia is aquifers where water can be stored underground.
The government started working on aquifers in 1970 and since then hundreds of thousands of aquifers have been constructed which provide water for both urban and agricultural purposes. The second important source of water in Saudi Arabia is the sea and the process by which seawater is purified for drinking purposes is called desalination. Saudi Arabia is the biggest source of desalinated water.
The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) operates 27 desalination stations and it releases 3 million cubic meters of freshwater every day. These plants provide 70 percent of water for urban consumption apart from providing water for industrial purposes. These are the main sources of electric power generation too.
At the moment, the process of removing salt from water is very costly as it costs nearly $1000 per acre-foot while the simple process of purification costs around $200 per acre-foot. The scientists are working on methods to reduce the cost of desalination and also to improvise the process.
16 billion cubic feet of water is being stored in more than 200 dams; some large dams are located in Wadi Jizan, Wadi Fatima, Wadi Bisha, and Najran.
This water is supplied to every corner of the country through well-spread canals and it is also used for agricultural purposes.
Recycling of water is also done on a very big scale in the country and the government tries that 40% of used water is again provided for household chores in urban areas after recycling