Several areas in Saudi city of Jeddah without water for weeks

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Residents of various neighborhoods of Jeddah have complained that the water supply in their homes has been reduced while in other homes it has been completely shut off, Makkah newspaper reported.

Some in south and east Jeddah complained that they had not had water pumped into their home tanks for 20 days.

Water distribution points, where one can get a water tanker, have been crowded with people, both Saudi and expatriate.

A number of Saudis called for canceling the condition that requires an expatriate who wants water to bring a Saudi man.

Hesham Abu Alainain, local mayor of the Al-Baghdadiyah neighborhood, said: “This neighborhood always suffers from water shortages and frequent water supply cutoffs.

“It’s become a nightmare for the residents who have many times called the National Water Company and demanded a permanent solution to the problem.”

Those without water had to pay for tankers in order to get water.

Even the tenants of apartments were asked by landlords to chip in to cover the expenses of obtaining water. Sultan Al-Mutairi, who lives in east Jeddah, said most neighborhoods in that part of the city, such as Al-Rabea and Al-Samer noticed a sharp decrease in the quantity of water pumped to their homes.

Currently, water is pumped to their homes once a month and this is not enough.

In some cases, they go on for a month without water.

He said: “Not all Jeddah neighborhoods have this problem. The upscale neighborhoods in the west have never complained about water shortages. Why?”

Ibrahim Al-Atawi, who lives in Al-Baghdadiyah, said the people are tired of hearing the same excuses about water shortage.

A three or four-floor building has a big tank and needs at least three water tankers to fill it up.

He complained that non-Saudis cannot get a water tanker unless the landlord is present.

“This is a difficult and unnecessary requirement. Besides, it causes problems between tenants and landlords as the former holds the latter responsible for ensuring the water supply is constant.”

A Makkah reporter called the National Water Company several times to get an explanation for the frequent water cuts.

Its director Muhammad Al-Zahrani said the problem was due to a decrease in the quantity of desalinated water the company received.

He expected the problem to be solved in four days.

He said: “Maintenance work at the desalination station has not been completed yet, which affected the quantity of water supply to several neighborhoods.

“The pumping rates will go back to normal soon. Our role is to distribute the water we get from the station to all neighborhoods.

“Some places have weak water pumping and those need at least two pumping cycles.

“The only places that don’t get water are the ones without a water network.”

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 5, 2015.

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