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Saudi National Water Strategy 2030.

Type of law

This National Water Strategy is a nationwide sectoral document aiming at creating by 2030 a sustainable water sector, safeguarding water and the other natural resources and the environment, and providing cost-effective supply and high-quality services, contributing to the economic and social development. To achieve the goal, 5 specific objectives have been set out, as follows (i) ensure continuous access to adequate quantities of safe water, under both normal and emergency situations; (ii) enhance water demand management across all uses; (iii) deliver cost-effective, high quality, and affordable water and wastewater services; (iv) safeguard and optimize the use of water resources, while preserving the local environment for the benefit of the present and future Saudi society; (v) ensure water sector competitiveness and positive contribution to the national economy through promoting effective governance, private sector participation, capacity building, and innovation. According to the 5 specific objectives, 10 programs are defined, namely (1) water system and water resources management regulations; (2) water resources management; (3) sector resilience; (4) research, development, and capacity building; (5) supply chain efficiency and service quality; (6) water services regulations; (7) reconstruction of the saline water conversion corporation; (8) private sector involvement in the production and treatment of wastewater; (9) distribution restructuring and privatization; and (10) establishment of the General Organization for Irrigation and irrigation improvement.
The strategy identified ten programs and forty seven initiatives included in the Implementation Plan.
To make agriculture more productive and sustainable, the Strategy focuses on optimizing the use of water resources through (i) the rationalization of current resources and reduction of consumption rates in the urban and agricultural sectors; (ii) improvement of irrigation practices and promotion of the reuse of treated wastewater in the sector; (iii) reducing feed cultivation and improving crop productivity through comparative advantage; (iv) launching a study to assess the possibility of collecting, treating and reusing wastewater for irrigating green areas and supplying the agricultural and industrial sectors and establishing the necessary infrastructure; and (v) developing sustainable desalination capacity.
In order to increase the resilience of livelihoods to disaster, the aim is to ensure continued access to safe water in both normal and emergency situations through integrated risk management and emergency management plans; by expanding connectivity, design and control by planning a linkage between main cities with alternative sources of supply; and expanding strategic storage capacity, including plans to feed water-bearing layers.
As for the Governance, six recommendations are provided on the best mechanisms that may be adopted to achieve different mechanisms to improve transparent and ideal governance of government-owned facilities, namely (i) establishment of separate legal bodies, to ensure a legal identity separate from the government, and allow to work profitably while relying on competition and legislation to guarantee fair prices; (ii) general report, a mechanism that enforces public reporting under the standards imposed on private companies; (iii) commercial culture, a mechanism that contributes to the dissemination of commercial culture in the facilities, such as the appointment of managers from successful companies; (iv) financial support; (v) inclusion of minority shares; and (vi) strengthening social policy mechanisms, to provide effective and transparent means of redistribution of resources.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
2018 - 2030.
Source language


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