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Arab News, Thu, May 09, 2024 | Dhu al-Qadah 1, 1445

Saudi Arabia transforms SWCC into water authority to boost security

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s efforts to bolster its water security received a significant boost with the restructuring of the Saline Water Conversion Corp. into the Saudi Water Authority.

This transition, which includes the adoption of new organizational frameworks, aims to enhance oversight of water-related activities, optimize regulations, improve service management, and foster methodological development.

The approval from the Saudi Cabinet will further bolster the sustainability of water resources and advance the objectives of the National Water Strategy, aligning closely with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

Under the new regulations, the SWA will be tasked with developing and refining policies, plans, programs, and initiatives pertaining to the water sector.

Additionally, it will establish the requisite standards and regulations for licensing within its jurisdiction. Moreover, the authority will work to unify technical and engineering standards across the water sector to ensure adherence to local content and sustainability standards.

The authority is also entrusted with overseeing the strategic planning of the Kingdom’s water supply, advancing reports, recommendations, and strategic initiatives to enhance the overall efficiency of the water sector.

Moreover, it will prioritize the localization of the industry and services associated with water activities, aiming to increase the proportion of local content.

The Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, as well as the Chairman of SWA, Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley conveyed his heartfelt appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, for the Cabinet’s endorsement of the transformation of SWCC into the Saudi Water Authority, along with the adoption of its organizational frameworks.

He emphasized that the Cabinet’s approval underscores the considerable attention accorded to the water sector by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince, highlighting the field’s recent accomplishments.

Al-Fadley further emphasized that this decision bolsters the ongoing endeavors to nurture the water sector, enabling it to uphold its leadership position.

It harnesses SWCC’s expertise in research, innovation, development, localization, and patents to propel toward a more targeted, sustainable, and dependable water security framework.

This encompasses the adoption of secure technologies and extensive research initiatives aligned with the Kingdom’s developmental imperatives while bolstering its economic footprint and ambitious vision.

Furthermore, Al-Fadley highlighted that under the new regulations, the Saudi Water Authority will assume pivotal roles encompassing strategic, regulatory, and executive functions.

This entails implementing strategic programs, developing essential regulations and licensing criteria, and ensuring that technical and engineering standards in water-related endeavors adhere to local content and sustainability guidelines.

SWA will also spearhead the planning of Saudi Arabia’s water supply chain, presenting reports, recommendations, and strategic and technical solutions to enhance the water sector’s overall performance.

Concurrently, it will prioritize the localization of the water industry, augmenting the proportion of locally sourced materials and representing the Kingdom in pertinent international forums and organizations.

These endeavors will bolster the development of the water sector, fortifying its leadership across all spheres.

Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Abdulkarim, president of SWA, underscored the Cabinet’s approval as a monumental stride in the continual advancement of the Saudi water sector and the pursuit of hydro security.

He remarked that this transformation signifies a significant departure from the longstanding institution established over 50 years ago, reflecting the unwavering support and guidance from the Kingdom’s leadership to leverage its existing assets, capabilities, innovations, and human expertise.

Al-Abdulkarim further stated that SWA would extend the Kingdom’s global achievements and records, particularly its leadership in desalinated water production at 11.5 million cubic meters daily.

He affirmed SWA’s dedication to propelling the water sector’s leadership in the Kingdom forward, bolstering knowledge and technology, empowering local capacities and resources, and contributing to the detailed management of water and environmental resources to fulfill the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

Additionally, he highlighted its intent to maximize its strategic role in regulating and advancing the water division, enhancing the integration and efficiency of the hydro supply chain, evaluating infrastructure readiness, and augmenting strategic storage and alternative sources.

He added that these efforts would be underpinned by initiatives to localize research, develop technologies, and foster innovation to generate more employment opportunities, while emphasizing the consolidation of engineering standards and requirements to enhance professional performance and efficiency.

Al-Abdulkarim concluded by pointing out that SWA would bolster regulatory and developmental strategies to strengthen the water sector’s contribution to Saudi economic development, solidifying its status as a global leader in water solutions.

This entails amplifying private sector involvement, augmenting its role in localization, and bolstering its contribution to the national gross domestic product.

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