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Water and Waste Water Management

Saudi Arabia relies for much of its water on its 27 desalination plants. This true and tested technology that has not changed a lot for the past 30 years produces 12.9 Billion cubic meters of potable water every year, but with the growing population water scarcity may one day be a problem.

Therefore, targeting new projects and new innovations in water metering and water usage is of paramount importance. Items like smart showers, condensation traps and household waste water treatment systems will greatly help to preserve our most valuable resource. At the same time, new and improved desalination systems and industrial and city wide water management and recycling systems will greatly add to the quality of life by allowing more irrigation of green areas in inner cities.

One innovation that is still in its infancy that may change our future, is the use of algae to filter and clean waste water. Algae, which can be grown on sea water and waste water, can also be dried and used to produce lipids and thereby manufacture ethanol as a biofuel. This same water can then be recycled or even used in hydrogen fuel cells to power our cities and transport.

So we can see water may well be the fuel of the future. It is left for the next generation of student engineers and scientists to explore the many uses of this natural resource both as a source of power and our most valuable commodity.