At a time when desertification is troubling multiple regions worldwide, Saudi Arabia is taking giant steps to buck that trend and secure its water resources through a variety of sustainability measures.
One such step has seen the Kingdom break records for all the right reasons. Verified by the Guinness World Records earlier this year, The ProfMaster 5K/day mobile desalination plant, located in the eastern city of Jubail, was given the accolade of setting a global record in reducing energy consumption in water desalination to 2.271 kWh per cubic meter.
The eco-friendly reverse osmosis (RO) plants were rigorously designed to meet the latest global standards, and are set to complement the existing supply chain whilst further reducing operational costs. This new achievement by the Saudi Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) is one of several records it has earned in recent years, cementing its standing as a pioneer in the industry.
SWCC has been investing in engineering and research expertise to further drive design innovation, and to supply high-efficiency, low-energy desalination plants. The conservation corporation has already reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 22% target set by Vision 2030.
Desalination is not the only way that the Kingdom is looking to address the issue of water scarcity. The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) has developed a comprehensive water strategy, which integrates national water sector trends, policies, legislation, and practices with the main objective of addressing these key challenges and restructuring the sector.
“(MEWA)… always seeks to update its programs and plans that aim at developing its services in the fields of the environment, water, and agriculture to be in line with the Saudi Vision for 2030. These efforts are intended to improve performance and services, as well as achieve cost-effectiveness” said MEWA Minister Abdul-Rahman bin Abdul-Mohsen Al-Fadhli.
Let’s Make It Green
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 push has overseen a series of eco-friendly campaigns rolled out nationwide. The ‘Let’s Make it Green’ campaign has seen 10 million trees planted across 165 sites across the Kingdom which were environmentally degraded due to overgrazing, uprooting, and urban sprawl.
Efforts to increase vegetation and combat desertification have put an emphasis on supporting renewable sources that contribute towards food security, rural development, and increased productivity of strategic crops. By targeting disease-free seed potatoes, for example, the Kingdom could curtail its dependency on imports which are valued to be in the region of SAR75 million.
The SAR120 million riyals worth of investment into the production and multiplication of seed potatoes additionally seeks to encourage local production and aid job creation.
At the end of 2020, five national environment centers were launched by MEWA to protect and propagate native wildlife, ecosystems and to oversee waste management. The National Centre for Environmental Compliance was established to issue environmental licenses for all development projects.
Following the pillar of A Vibrant Society, further significant steps are to be expected, with investments made in self-sufficiency and sustainability today guaranteeing a secure and green tomorrow.