What can the private sector do to tackle water security challenges?
- Arab News
Water is not only a critical component of our food system, but a fundamental human right. It is also an essential resource for the growth and prosperity of communities worldwide. For Saudi Arabia — the eighth most at-risk country in terms of water stress according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute’s 2019 Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas — it is a particular concern.
The Kingdom has limited non-renewable groundwater reserves, which are being rapidly depleted. Due to arid climate conditions, renewable water is extremely scarce. Additionally, the high demand for water in the agricultural sector is exacerbating water scarcity and placing incredible pressure on food security in the Kingdom.
Climate change further exacerbates the problem by disrupting weather patterns, leading to severe weather events, unstable water availability, increased water scarcity and polluted water supplies. All of these can drastically affect the quantity and quality of water.
In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the government has made considerable strides in addressing water security and sustainable agriculture, working to reduce daily per capita consumption from 263 liters to 150 liters by 2030, among other aggressive goals.