Saudi-Spanish cooperation to invest in dams and desalination plants

An archive photo of Al-Jubail desalination plant in Saudi Arabia
  • Ensuring the incorporation of international experiences, Saudi Arabia and Spanish companies cooperated to invest in dams and desalination plants.

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with Spanish companies to invest in various water fields, especially in the fields of dams, desalination plants, transport and distribution, and provide opportunities for companies to obtain water sector projects.

This came during a meeting between the deputy minister for water affairs, Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Shaibani, and the Ambassador of Spain to Saudi Arabia, Paro Irentho at the Ministry’s headquarters.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Spanish side, the General Organization for Desalination, the National Water Company, the Saudi Water Partnership Company, the Public Irrigation Corporation, the National Research Center, the Public departments of the Ministry of Water, and the Public Administration of International Cooperation and Agricultural Investment Abroad.

These meetings were aimed at discussing common issues between the two countries in the water sector and ways of enhancing cooperation with Spanish companies in the field of water and exchanging views on the challenges facing the water sector in the two countries, such as desertification, drought, and the use of water for agricultural purposes, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The ministry stressed its keenness to benefit from international experiences, exchange experiences, and involve the private sector in the development and sustainability of the water sector within the objectives of the vision of the Kingdom 2030.

For his part, Dr. Al-Shaibani stressed the need to benefit from the Spanish experience in the field of water resources management. The Spanish officials and companies were previously invited to participate in the Saudi Water Forum for this purpose. Noting that the allocation of projects through the involvement of the private sector of the most important objectives of the National Water Strategy.

He added that the ministry represented in the Water Agency is interested in developing the deal with the Spanish side in the fields of dams and irrigation, through cooperation and access to the Spanish experience and the exchange of experts, especially in the construction, management and operation of dams and the irrigation sector.

For his part, Ambassador Paro Irentho talked about the difficulties related to the global water situation in general and the water situation in both countries in particular. He pointed out that Spain has been suffering in recent years from waves of drought and lack of rain due to climate change, while Saudi Arabia is facing desertification and the consequences of climate change, in addition to similar challenges in terms of economic development and population growth, which in turn pressure on the rates of water demand for industrial, municipal and agricultural purposes and how this relates to water and food security.

He stressed the desire of Spanish companies to participate effectively through economic cooperation in accordance with the objectives of the vision of the Kingdom 2030. The Ambassador also promised to overcome difficulties for Spanish companies working in the fields of water desalination, water purification, engineering and investment advisory services in Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry has launched the National Water Strategy 2030 with the aim of integrating national water sector directives, policies, legislation, and practices with the main objectives of restructuring the sector, reforming the water and sanitation sector to ensure the sustainable development of water resources in Saudi Arabia, developing water production and distribution technologies while providing services at lower cost, high quality and reasonable prices.