Parts of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, are enduring “unprecedented” water shortages due to tanker delivery delays, Arab News reported, citing residents in the Red Sea coastal city.
Neighborhoods are waiting as long as 72 hours for water deliveries compared with an hour in the past, the Jeddah-based newspaper said, citing residents. A ban on water tankers during peak traffic has been temporarily lifted to make more supplies available, the paper said.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer of desalinated water, is building power stations to cope with growing demand and adding more plants that convert seawaters into drinking water. Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen said in January that the Saudi government had allocated $6.4 billion for water and sanitation projects in 2013.
Abdullah al-Assaf, director-general of the National Water Company in Jeddah, said an additional 200,000 cubic meters of water will be provided to Jeddah, Arab News said. Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company is working on a $133 million water storage plant in Jeddah to improve supplies in the city.