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Water Investment Forum
Municipal water demand is expected to continue growing in the short and long run driven by social and economic factors

Saudi Arabia’s rapid population growth over the years has led to signification growth in demand for municipal water. Combined with growing urbanization, industrialization and  economic growth municipal water demand is set to grow to 11.64 Mn m3 per day by 2050, according to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA). The country is one of the largest consumers of water in the world with a consumption per capita approximately twice the world average.
Factors influencing municipal water demand growth include:
  • Growing population: the Kingdom has experienced significant population growth, growing by an estimated CAGR of 3% between  2000 and 2015. The IMF expects that the population will continue growing over the next 5 years by around 2% CAGR from 2015 till 2020
  • Urbanization: expected annual urbanization growth rate is 0.4% until 2030
  • Overall growth in the economy: a number of economic and industrial cities are being developed (e.g. King Abdullah Economic City, Waad Al Shamal Industrial City). In addition, expected annual GDP growth rate is 1.5% until 2030
  • Hot and dry climate: The climate of the Kingdom is generally very hot and dry, and the hottest months of the year can reach up to 50°C requiring
  • Cultural considerations: The Kingdom is strongly rooted in Islamic culture which places high emphasis on cleanliness. Muslims conduct ablutions five times a day and use water for body cleansing
  • Consumption expectation: Water in the country is available and accessible at very low cost. Limited price signaling availability has also played an important role in driving high consumption

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