The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, has discussed the ways to enhance cooperation with Spanish companies to invest in various fields of water sector, especially in the fields of dams, desalination plants, transmission and distribution, as well as opportunities for companies to be contracted for water sector projects under the direction of the Ministry to benefit from the international experience and the exchange of expertise and the involvement of the private sector in development and sustainability of the water sector within the objectives of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.
This came during the meeting of the Deputy Minister for Water Affairs Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Shaibani, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mr. Alvaro Aarantho at the Ministry's headquarters, in the presence of representatives from the Spanish side, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, National Water Company, Saudi Water Partnerships Company, Saudi Irrigation Organization, National Center for Water Research and Studies and the General Department of International Cooperation and Agricultural Investment Abroad, in order to discuss the common issues between the two countries in water sector and ways to enhance cooperation with Spanish companies in different aspects of water sector, and exchange views on the challenges facing the water sector in the two countries, such as desertification, drought and water use for agricultural purposes.
Dr. Shaibani, stressed the need to benefit from the Spanish expertise in the field of water resources management, where the Spanish officials and companies have been invited to participate in the Saudi Water Forum for this purpose, noting that the the public Private Partnership in executing projects through the involvement of the private sector is one of the most important goals of National Water Strategy.
Al-Shaibani noted that the Ministry represented in the Water Agency is interested in developing cooperation with the Spanish side in the fields of irrigation, building & operating of dams through exchange of experts.
The Spanish Ambassador Alvaro Aarantho, mentioned the difficulties related to the global water situation in general and the situation of water in the two countries in particular, noting that Spain has suffered in recent years from the waves of drought and lack of rain due to climate change, while the Kingdom is facing desertification and the consequences of climate change, in addition to the similarity Challenges in terms of economic development and population growth, which put pressure on the rates of water demand for industrial, municipal and agricultural purposes, and their relation to water and food security.
The Ambassador affirmed the desire of Spanish companies to participate effectively through economic cooperation in accordance with the objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030. The Ambassador also promised to overcome the difficulties facing the Spanish companies working in the fields of desalination, water purification, engineering and consultancy services in the Kingdom.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, launched the National Water Strategy 2030, with an objective of integrating regulations, policies, legislations and practices in the water sector at the national level with the main goal of restructuring the water sector, and reforming of the water and sanitation sector to ensure sustainable development of water resources in the Kingdom, and the development of water production and distribution technologies while providing services at lower cost, high quality and reasonable prices.