Saudi rushes through $426.6m Riyadh water projects

Urgent demand will see NWC drill 43 wells and build 27 desal plants

Pressure on Riyadh's water resources has seen water projects rushed through
Pressure on Riyadh's water resources has seen water projects rushed through

Saudi Arabia is rushing through $426.6m (SAR 1.6bn) of water projects in Riyadh to meet urgent demand, Arab News reports.

National Water Company (NWC) will drill 43 wells and build 27 water desalination plants, in addition to tanks and pumps, at a variety of locations in the city to add 200,000m³ of water per day to its network.

This follows the implementation of projects to support water resources in Riyadh in the last six months by NWC.

The company announced that it has reduced the implementation period for the new projects from 18 months (the time required for the implementation of similar projects), to only six months.

A spokesman of NWC said that the urgent projects aim at improving water sources and filling the gap in water volumes allocated for the city.

According to NWC, certain locations have already been completed ahead of the deadline, such as Dhahrat Laban district in western Riyadh, which produces up to 15,000m³ per day. The location includes three reverse osmosis purification plants with production capacity of 5000 m³ per day, and is supplied from underground wells of depths between 1,500 to 1,700 metres.

NWC is preparing for operation of other purification plants with production capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 m³ per day at 23 locations inside Riyadh within a short time, before the beginning of the summer season. Districts include Al-Qairawan, Al-Narjis, Al-Rimal, Al-Badia, Al-Diraya, Arqa, Al-Fawaz, Al-Jazira, Al-Miazliya, Al-Khaleej, Al-Sahafa and Al-Suwaidi. Combined production capacity of Al-Buwaib and Salboukh plants will be increased by 70,000 m³ per day.

A team of engineers at NWC had designed strategies and plans for implementing the projects. They have been won by three local and international companies, namely Korean Saudi Dingo Ltd., Nisma Global Water and Energy Technologies International in alliance with Water and Environment Technology and Tiko, and the Saudi Electrical and Mechanical Works Ltd., in partnership with Daijerimont (France) and the National Water Works Company. In addition, Icom (US), Argon (UK) and HGBD Arabia are assisting in the management and supervision of the project.

The Saudi capital is experiencing rapid growth in population, urban and economic sectors, with Statistics of the Ministry of Economy and Planning showing that Riyadh’s population is growing 4.2% faster than the rest of the Kingdom’s total population. Population of Riyadh reached 5.2 million in 2012.

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