Saudi Arabian Dams Use Veolia Solutions to Support Qatrah Initiative for Water Security

Veolia is supporting Saudi Arabia’s Qatrah water security initiative by supplying innovative water purification solutions to three of the Kingdom’s most strategic dams.

Water security is a major concern for the Kingdom, as the recently-launched Qatrah initiative aims to slash per capita daily water consumption almost in half, from 263 litres currently to 150 litres, by 2030. Supporting the Kingdom’s water security, Veolia Water Technologies, which specialises in solutions for public and private-sector clients seeking to design, build, maintain, or upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities, is working closely with Saudi dam contractors.

“Saudi Arabia’s Qatrah initiative is showing global best practices in adopting modern techniques to help arid countries make the most of water in their existing reservoirs and streamline the processes by which it is made safe for human consumption”, said Dr. Badr Ghawji, Managing Director, Veolia Water Technologies Saudi Arabia.

Veolia Water Technologies’ complete suite of water treatment technologies includes PH adjustment, dissolved air flotation, biological treatment, filtration, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis. Its advanced dam water treatment technologies have been supplied in various locations in the Kingdom since 2000, including Hili, Kholais, and Wadi Itwad, Beasha, and Aradah.

Dr. Ghawji added: “Some are capable of receiving high-turbidity water of up to 1,000 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU), with proven performance and excellent water quality. Chemical consumption is up to 40 per cent lower, and they are also cheaper to operate and maintain”.

The first dam in Saudi Arabia to use Actiflo®, a high-rate and compact water clarification process with footprints up to 50 times lower than those of comparable systems, was Maraba. Capable of handling 65,000 m3/day, this plant also uses multimedia pressurized filtration systems, reverse osmosis of 50,000 m3/day and additional reverse osmosis reject recovery of 60 per cent.

Actiflo® was then installed at Beash Dam, Jizan, during the upgrade of its first phase, and processes 33,000m3/day of water. The dam serves some 450,000 residents and is capable of processing 94,000m3/day of water.

On behalf of the contractor, Suleiman Al Qasoumi Establishment, Veolia supplied Multiflo™ which is an efficient process to remove total suspended solids (TSS), colour, algae and heavy metal co-precipitates for drinking water production, as well as gravity filters, and related chemicals. Via a direct contract with Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Veolia also built the Middle East’s first Actiflo® Carb which is equipped with a contact tank that utilises powdered activated carbon for the adsorption of non-flocculable organic matter, taste and odour compounds, pesticides and emerging micro-pollutants device. This produces very pure, high quality water, distinguished by far lower turbidity (“cloudiness”) and total organic carbon (TOC) than results from comparable processes.

The third Actiflo® beneficiary in Saudi Arabia was Tarjes Dam. Located in Asir region, it has the capacity to treat 50,000m3/day of water, providing potable water to 200,000 inhabitants of nearby Al Namas city. Veolia also supplied carbon and multimedia filters and related chemical dosing systems to the client, the drainage and desalination specialist Abdullah Ibrahim Al Sayegh & Sons Co. Trading & Contracting.

Veolia provided the study and detailed engineering for Baha’s Aradah Valley Dam, which has a daily capacity of 40,000m3. Several of its solutions are used at the facility, including dosing and chlorination systems, clariflocculators, and under-drain gravity filters.

“At Veolia Water Technologies, we are using our expertise, creativity and commitment to enhance people’s lives in the Kingdom by promoting best practice at the dams on which they depend”, added Dr. Ghawji.

He concluded: “Water is an increasingly precious resource. Surviving the challenges posed by desertification and climate change means Gulf states must invest in state-of-the-art water technology if they are to survive and prosper in the years and decades ahead”.