Saudi Arabia Water Report

Published 12 January 2015

  • 46 pages
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Saudi Arabia Water Report

BMI View: We view Saudi Arabia's water sector as one of the most attractive in the region offering numerous opportunities to private sector participants. In particular, the continued growth in desalination projects and ongoing water reclamation developments offer significant potential.

Water demand in Saudi Arabia is rapidly growing despite the country's limited natural resources. This puts immense pressure on the government and water management companies to extract and distribute adequate volumes of water. The country's water consumption is twice the global average (even higher than countries with rechargeable aquifers and replenishable resources), according to recent studies. With just 2bn cubic metres (cu m) of proven groundwater reserves, Saudi Arabia has nowhere near enough water to serve its future needs, and steady inflows of investment are required to develop alternative resources.

The Saudi Arabian water sector is one of the most active in the region owing to the country's growing population and booming industrial demand, in spite of an easing off of demand from the oil & gas sector. This has boosted water consumption levels, putting increasing strain on a water-stressed country that has little in the way of natural resources. As a result, the government has undertaken significant initiatives and investment into water infrastructure. Moreover, it is keenly aware that in the wake of the Arab Spring, it needs to prevent outbreaks of popular discontent, with power and water provision remaining a sensitive issue for many citizens.

In particular, we expect significant upswings in desalination capacity, which is set to experience the fastest growth rate in the world as the government targets 6% annual growth in water generated by these facilities. A large number of desalination plants are under construction or recently completed. Despite the plan to dedicate funding throughout the country, a string of allocations to urban regions indicates that the focus on...

BMI Industry View
Water SWOT
Industry Forecast
Saudi Arabia Water Forecast
Water Extraction
Table: Water Extraction, 2011-2018
Water Consumption
Table: Water Consumption, 2011-2018
Water Treatment And Sanitation
Industry Risk/Reward Ratings
Industry Risk/Reward Index
Table: Middle East And Africa Water Risk/Reward Index
Market Overview
Water Supply And Consumption
Industrial And Agricultural Water Consumption
Treatment And Sanitation
Regulations And Water Tariffs
Regulatory Framework
Industry Trends And Developments
Table: Water Projects
Competitive Landscape
Ministry Of Water And Electricity
Saline Water Conversion Corporation
National Water And Electricity Company
Foreign Players
Global Industry Overview
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Table: Water Risk/Reward Index Indicators
Table: Weighting Of Indicators

The Saudi Arabia Water Report has been researched at source and features latest-available data covering public and private sector investment in all major water projects including water extraction, water distribution and water treatment and sanitation projects and also includes competitive intelligence. The report features BMI Research's independent industry forecasts and analysis of latest industry news, trends and regulatory developments in Saudi Arabia.

BMI's Saudi Arabia Water Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, business investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the water industry in Saudi Arabia.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent water industry forecasts for Saudi Arabia to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Saudi water industry.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in Saudi Arabia through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments.


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering regulatory changes, major investments and projects and signifi cant national and multinational company developments. These are broken down into Water Extraction, Water Consumption and Water Treatment & Sanitation.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the water and wastewater sectors and the potential affects for industrial consumers, within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry & Economic Forecasts

Historic data series (2011-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key risks to the main forecasts. Indicators include:

  • Extraction: Total water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); underground water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); surface water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction).
  • Consumption: Total water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); total mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); household water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (litres per household per day); total non-mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); water losses total mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction).
  • Treatment: Total waste water discharged (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); treated discharged water (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); untreated discharged water (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); mechanically treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); biologically treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); combined treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y).
  • economy: Economic growth (%); nominal GDP (USDbn); unemployment (%); interest rates (%); exchange rate (against USD).

BMI’s Water Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (water management, water utility and water infrastructure companies) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Overview

This is broken down into the following sectors:

  • Water supply & Consumption: Where the water comes from, (rivers, springs, lakes, surface water, ground water and so on), key trends with regards to extraction, key trends with regards to overall water consumption, municipal or domestic consumption, and key industrial and agricultural consumption trends.
  • Water distribution: This examines how the water is distributed – whether by municipalities, regional organisations or national companies, whether the water networks are nationalised or privatised, and key trends and developments.
  • Water Treatment & sanitation: This section evaluates the country’s water pollution levels, the connectivity to water mains and sewage networks, the volumes and methods of water treatment, government initiatives with regards to treatment and sanitation processes and key projects, trends and developments.
  • Regulations & Tariffs: Key national and regional legislations with regards to water pollution, extraction and distribution as well as an overview of water rates for domestic and industrial users.

Industry Trends & Developments

Analysis of latest projects across the water infrastructure sector including water and wastewater treatment plants, desalination facilities, mains water and sewage network expansions, dams, and hydropower plants.

Competitive Landscape

Provides an overview of key government ministries overseeing the water sector together with regulatory organisations, alongside the central companies involved in water and wastewater distribution and treatment services in the country.


The Water Market Reports are based on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations (UN, WB, IMF), national chambers of commerce and industry, national statistical offices, government ministries and central banks, and multinational companies.

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