Go small and local on desalination warns Saudi water expert

President of the Saudi Water and Power Forum (SWPF) Dr Adil Bushnak, has warned that Saudi Arabia must end its rising dependence on “costly” centralised desalination plants.

He proposed a move to greater numbers of small water production plants sited close to consumption centres and asserted that is was,”illogical to pump water hundreds of kilometres.” He went on: “This requires costly and large amounts of energy consumed by mega desalination plants. Yet they are continually exposed to risks or crashes, which will end up with a shortage of water in the Kingdom.”

Speaking ahead of the tenth SWPF that will be held in January, Bushnak said building small plants in cities and close to residential areas as well as dealing with the private sector to buy local fresh water would reduce cost to the state for water production and transport.

Bushnak emphasized that non-renewable groundwater should be maintained as a source of drinking water for hundreds of years rather than to drained in few decades in traditional agriculture.