(MENAFN - Arab News) The Kingdom needs to upgrade its policy road map to preserve precious water and power resources in the country, including creating a water endowment, delegates recommended at a major conference here.
The discussions took place at the Saudi Water and Power Forum in Jeddah that concluded on Tuesday.
The recommendation for the establishment of a water endowment was in line with Saudi culture. It would see water stored in each governorate that would belong to the public and be available free of charge in the future, delegates said.
The first session was opened by Adil Bushnaq, chairman and chief executive officer of Moya Water. Several participants made presentations, including Abdullah Al-Shahri, chairman of the Electricity, Co-Generation Regulatory Authority, Abdul Rahman Al-Ibrahim, director of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, and Muhammad Al-Saud, deputy minister of water and electricity.
The panel discussed policies and regulations to ensure sustainable water and power usage in the country as part of an upgraded road map for the Kingdom in future. This included adjusting tariff structures to support growth and investment in these areas.
Al-Saud's paper focused on environmental challenges in Saudi Arabia. He said the increasing population and the country's rapid economic growth was putting a strain on water resources.
He said farming was depleting aquifers and there were not enough plants to treat water from the country's sewage system. There was also a lack of capability building and innovation, especially since 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's water resources comes from desalination plants and 40 percent from groundwater.