Saudis to Build Biggest Water Storage Project in Riyadh

National Water Co., the biggest water supplier in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, plans to build a 1.8 billion-riyal ($480 million) storage facility in its desert capital Riyadh.

The 4.6 million-cubic-meter storage facility is part of the first phase of a project to “achieve a sustainable and secure water supply and meet the challenges of providing water-sector services” in the kingdom’s largest city, the state-owned company said today in an e-mail.

The second phase of the biggest Saudi water-storage project will add 6 million cubic meters more of capacity at a cost of 2.6 billion riyals to serve the city’s 5 million residents.

Chief Executive Officer Luay Al Musallam said last year that the Saudi state projects are part of a 51 billion-riyal water-resources investment in cities including Riyadh, Mecca and the port of Jeddah. This year alone, the government has allocated 16.6 billion riyals for desalination projects to cope with the potable water needs of a population that’s quadrupled in 40 years to 30 million people.

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