Solar Desalination in Saudi Arabia

The world"s largest desalination plant, in Saudi Arabia.©

The lack of fresh water resources in Saudi Arabia is becoming an increasing problem, as it is elsewhere around the world. Local officials there estimate that the country’s more than 28 desalination plants provide between 50-70% of the country’s drinking water, a process that requires oil to run the huge equipment needed to extract salt and other minerals.

Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf has said that around 1.5 million barrels of oil a day are used in the country’s desalination plants, which has, in turn, caused the price of water to increase along with the price of oil. In efforts to relieve their dependence on fossil fuels, the Kingdom is now implementing a plan to build solar-powered desalination plants. This will not only save on their energy costs, but it will also serve to demonstrate their loyalty to local and international environmental policies.

SOURCES: Circle of Blue; Environmental News Network.