As part of initiatives of the National Transformation Program 2020 launched under Saudi Vision 2030, the Water Distribution Services Sector of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has appointed a woman to lead a comprehensive national program to rationalize water consumption in the Kingdom. Ms. Shaima Bint Mutlaq Al-Usaimi is the first Saudi woman to be named Executive Director of Awareness and Water Conservation Management. The program aims to improve water consumption behaviors over the next four years to reach global average rates by 2020.
The Water Distribution Services Sector has already established an independent awareness and rationalization department that aims to launch various programs to stimulate rationalization of consumption and raise public awareness of the importance of preserving water. The program will also provide a breakdown of household products according to their consumption of water to increase consumer awareness.
Al-Usaimi is a young national talent who received her master’s degree in information technology from Manchester University and an Executive MBA in Business Administration from the University of San Diego’s School of Business. She holds a bachelor's degree in information technology from King Saud University.
The national water consumption program is highly important because Saudi Arabia was listed as the world’s third top water consumer per capita. On average, the daily per capita consumption of water in the Kingdom is about 247 liters. Reducing this to 200 liters by 2020 will require a huge national effort.
Under the program, many educational activities will be launched to create community awareness of the high cost of producing and distributing potable water, in addition to providing incentives to customers to rationalize their consumption.
The program will also highlight the development and dissemination of standards related to sanitary devices to reduce water consumption. New legislation will be set up to support eco-friendly products.
The program aims to position the private sector as a key partner in the manufacture, marketing and sale of rationalization products as well as the maintenance of the most deprived areas. The Kingdom has witnessed over the past five years an expansion of the water network because of the increase in the amount of water consumed and total municipal water use that exceeds that of European countries.