Saudi Arabia unveils 27 projects to boost water desalination in Asir region

RIYADH: In a move to boost the water supply to wider parts of the country, Saudi Arabia has unveiled 27 development projects worth SR4 billion ($1.07 billion) in the Asir region that will serve about 160,000 new beneficiaries.  

Inaugurated by Asir Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz, the projects are aimed at developing the drinking water system, securing the supply, and expanding the availability of services in the region.  

The schemes will also enable water and environmental sustainability in the Asir region in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.  

During the inauguration, the governor recognized the efforts of Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, the minister of environment, water, and agriculture, for ideating these projects.  

The Asir governor was briefed about the ministry’s efforts to enhance the operational capacity of projects, prepare new environment systems, and sustain natural resources.  

In addition, it was highlighted that the ministry enhanced the protection of vegetation covers, as well as expanded the rehabilitation and development of national parks.  

Al-Fadhli said the Saline Water Conversion Corp. has built a water transmission system to support strategic projects and enhance the security of desalinated water supplies.

The minister noted that the SWCC developed the water transmission system of the Abha urban feeding line, with a total cost of more than SR1.35 billion.

This will transport water from the preserved reservoirs in the city of Abha to the east of Khamis Mushayt.  

With a length of 57 kilometers and a transport capacity of 375,000 cubic meters per day, it will be able to feed the two cities through seven branches.  

Al-Fadhli added that the SWCC also established the third phase of the Shuqaiq-Abha water transmission system, worth over SR2 billion.  

This scheme includes pipes stretching a length of 137 km and will enhance the water supply in the city of Abha, governorates, and centers associated with its water system.  

In addition, the National Water Co. has implemented 21 water and environmental projects at a cost of more than SR535 million.  

These projects are expected to strengthen the drinking water distribution system and manage the demand in the Asir region.  

To achieve full utilization of water and its reuse, the water company implemented a project to deliver recycled water to Yala National Park in the Bisha governorate.  

This was done through the implementation of irrigation networks with lengths of more than 1.33 million meters, and at a cost that exceeded SR12 million.  

The ministry also implemented a concrete dam in Wadi Yabah in Bariq governorate, at a cost of more than SR121 million, to maximize the benefit of rainwater harvesting and enhance surface water sources.  

Another project implemented by the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification is to increase the vegetation cover in Bisha. The scheme was executed by planting more than 150,000 trees, at a cost of over SR6 million.  

Al-Fadhli said they ensured that these projects were implemented in accordance with best practices and technical expertise in Saudi Arabia.