Saudi Arabia aims to reuse over 65 percent of its water by 2020 and over 90 percent by 2040 by transforming its existing and planned wastewater treatment assets into source water suppliers across all sectors. Valued at over $4.3 billion by Global Water Intelligence, the Kingdom’s water reuse market is the third largest in the world.
Over $66 billion in long-term capital investments have been committed for water and sanitation projects in the Kingdom in the next 10 years, while the government aims to achieve 100 percent reuse of wastewater from cities with 5,000 inhabitants or more by 2025.
This emerged during a three-day conference and exhibition dedicated to water conservation and titled Water Arabia 2015 that opened Wednesday morning at Le Gulf Meridien Hotel in Al-Khobar.
The conference-cum-exhibition is being organized by the Saudi Arabian Water Environment Association (SAWEA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Saudi Aramco and a host of other companies are sponsoring the event, whose main theme is innovative and reliable water and wastewater technologies for sustainable water quality.
During the three-day event, the conference will cover a wide range of topics including water and wastewater treatment design, operations and technologies; water and sewer network design and technologies; advanced treatment technologies; policy and management of the Kingdom’s water supply; and sustainable water and wastewater supply practices.
Water Arabia 2015 features a large exhibition of water and wastewater equipment and service providers demonstrating technologies and answering questions from delegates.
During the conference General Electric (GE) unveiled an industry white paper on water scarcity in Saudi Arabia and policy options for continued success.
Jon Freedman, GE’s global government affairs leader who co-authored the white paper along with Colin Enssle, senior manager for water and process technologies at GE Power & Water, explained to the audience the main features of the white paper.
The white paper highlights four major water reuse policy options to governments including education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, and mandates and regulation.
GE is also showcasing its advanced range of desalination and water reuse technologies at the exhibition.
The white paper presents the water reuse landscape in the Kingdom, the water reuse policy and regulations, a range of technology options to address water reuse challenges and successful case studies from markets including Bahrain.
Freedman said: “Our recommendations complement the recently launched National Water Strategy to address Saudi Arabia’s water challenges.
“With overall water reuse from treated wastewater at an impressive 30 to 40 percent, the Kingdom has tremendous potential to enhance water reuse by over seven times to 241 million cubic meters per year.”
The white paper highlights the water reuse patterns in the Kingdom with agriculture accounting for the highest usage followed by landscaping, industries and recreational purposes.
GWI reports water reuse will increase at an annual rate of 4 percent from 2,367 million cubic meters per day to 5,834 million cubic meters a day in 2035.
“GE’s white paper highlights the ambitious initiatives already taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in promoting water reuse, and discusses four policy options that could serve as a valuable starting point to evaluate the appropriate mix of policies that best fit the Kingdom’s needs going forward,” said Freedman.
The article was first published in the Saudi Gazette