Riyadh: 6 September 2023 - His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen AlFadley stressed the Kingdom's leadership in tackling water issues regionally and globally, commending the decision by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to establish the Global Water Organization. The organization will contribute to strengthening cooperation between countries and stimulating a collective response to water challenges.
Commenting on the announcement, His Excellency AlFadley said: "The announcement demonstrates the Kingdom's firm commitment to the sustainable management of water resources, ensuring communities globally have access to clean water." He emphasized that the next steps will be to start collaborating with partners globally and begin rolling out critical projects that will address the need for sustainable water management.
His Excellency affirmed that the newly established organization will prioritize facilitating knowledge exchange on global water issues. Moreover, the organization will support the voices of those most in need of joining this critical dialogue, especially the countries of the Global South.
He added, "The Kingdom's vision for this initiative is not just about creating a research and policy formulation platform. We aim for inclusivity, ensuring every international voice contributes to shaping the dialogue and decision-making process in water resource management, which is at the core of the organization's mission."
His Excellency emphasized that this initiative reflects the Kingdom's recognition of the vital role of water supplies in ensuring the future of humanity, achieving sustainable development goals, and mitigating the risk associated with global freshwater supplies in the world. This need is further elevated by the devasting impacts of drought, floods, and pollution, which can destabilize economic and geopolitical stability, food and energy security, and environmental sustainability.
His Excellency AlFadley added that Saudi Arabia, through the Global Water Organization, intends to mobilize international support towards the goal of enhancing global water resources' safety. He noted that humanity faces a distinct opportunity to unite its efforts, integrate its resources and knowledge, and bring about a change in the path of water sustainability. He stressed the collective realization that tackling water challenges is not the responsibility of any single country but rather a shared responsibility in which efforts are combined to pave the way for a safe and sustainable water future for all.
Directing global efforts toward exchanging experiences
For his part, Dr. Fahad Abu-Mouti Deputy Minister of Regulatory Affairs and General Supervisor of the Executive Body of the Water Regulator , praised the positive international responses following the announcement of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister about the establishment of a Global Water Organization. He highlighted that many governments, financing, and regulatory bodies around the world expressed interest in learning more about the organization's mission, operational framework, and potential involvement opportunities.
Abu-Mouti added: "In the coming days, proactive steps will be initiated to liaise with relevant authorities, allowing the organization's work to begin its operations with global representation. We will focus on harnessing global efforts to enhance technology experiences, innovation, research and development. This will enable the establishment of priority qualitative projects and effectively address water risks faced by billions of people around the world."
He further shared that the new global organization would set a benchmark in the water sector, leveraging Saudi Arabia's decades-long expertise. "The organization will also play a key role in bringing about a serious shift in finding sustainable financing solutions to water issues through facilitating financing. The international community will find the organization is a partner ready to provide technical, scientific, and financial support to water projects around the world."
Adding to this, Abu-Mouti emphasized: "This organization will be a hub for research, scientific innovation, and cooperation between technologically advanced and adversely affected countries. Its focus will be on enhancing the proactive approach to water management by bringing about change in the current situation and creating a platform that allows countries to access resources, exchange knowledge, and collectively address current and future water challenges. Membership in the organization represents a strategic investment for various countries of the world, as it is an opportunity to influence global water policies, benefit from financing water projects, and share best practices and experiences so that these countries are part of a unified global effort that ensures the sustainability for present and future generations."
The Global Water Organization, with its robust research, policy development, and practical implementation approach, recognizes the interconnection between water challenges and other global issues. By pooling global resources, Saudi Arabia aims to contribute significantly to achieving sustainable development goals and ensuring abundant water, sanitation services, and management.
Given its geopolitical significance, strong economic and political influence, and extensive global experience, particularly in saltwater desalination, Saudi Arabia is ideally placed to host this global water organization. Through the Saudi Fund for Development, the Kingdom has funded sustainable water projects that provide safe drinking water to millions around the world.