Automotive & Transportation

Assessment of the Water and Wastewater Sector in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a highly arid region and the population lives under conditions of water stress. Moreover, with the population expected to grow at a rapid rate, the per capita availability of water will further decrease. This scenario has created lot of opportunities for the development of water and wastewater treatment, and distribution and sewage collection networks in the region. The Government is looking for viable options to enhance water supply throughout the country.With proper ministry in place for water, the legislation/ regulations are expected to become more stringent that would evently drive wastewater treatment market.
Published: 9 May 2012

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Assessment of the Water and Wastewater Sector in Saudi Arabia provides market dynamics, market size and forecasts, trends and competitive analysis of the water and wastewater sector in Saudi Arabia. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following sectors: water treatment and desalination, wastewater treatment, water distribution network as well as wastewater collection and disposal. It also covers the following applications: industrial, municipal and others.

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Market Overview

Population Growth Places Additional Burden on the Already Stressed Water Resources in Saudi Arabia

Stringent Water Laws to Encourage Inflow of Investments into the Water and Wastewater Sector

Saudi Arabia is one of the most arid countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and its freshwater resources are rapidly depleting. The country has a population of 26.1 million and continues to grow at a rate of 1.53 per cent. Urban centres account for approximately 82 per cent of the total population and the rate of urbanization is approximately 2.5 per cent (2005-2010). To meet the water demands of this escalating population and improve water connectivity, the government is looking at viable options such as desalination and infrastructure development. The frenetic pace of development has attracted participation and investments from the private sector. Despite the political unrest in the Middle East, the government’s allocation of substantial funds towards water and wastewater projects has assuaged foreign and private investors’ concerns to some extent.

The water infrastructure in Saudi Arabia is better than in other MENA countries, but the government still needs to adopt best practices to better manage water resources and meet international standards. The government charges only about only 25 cents (10 halalas) per cubic meter of water, even though the cost of water production per cubic meter is around $2.6-$4.0 (SR10 to SR 15). This translates to higher per capita consumption. With a proper water ministry in place, the legislation or regulations are expected to become stringent. The authorities hope to achieve complete water coverage throughout the country with the enforcement of the National Water Law and by-laws and further investments as part of its Ninth Development Plan. “The National Water Company (NWC) is planning to invest $23.00 billion in Saudi Arabia's sewage collection and treatment infrastructure over the next 20 years,” says the analyst of this research. “This investment aims to increase wastewater network coverage to 100.0 per cent from the current 45.0 per cent.”

Large industries and municipalities mostly outsource the water and wastewater treatment plant services as they can afford the high capital and operational costs. Due to low product differentiation, market participants tend to resort to competitive pricing to standout in the market. Customers in Saudi Arabia are highly price sensitive but expect treatment systems to be fully compliant to their needs. They also look for prompt after-sales service and technical support. “Reliability and efficiency are the other key factors considered by end users while choosing water and wastewater equipment suppliers,” notes the analyst. “Further, a company that provides complete solution and lowers the operational cost to the end user will occupy the central position in the market.”

Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

  • Water treatment and desalination
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water distribution network
  • Wastewater collection and disposal

Application Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following application sectors in this research:

  • Industrial
  • Municipal
  • Others

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Features of this Research

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