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Press Release

GE Unveils White Paper on Reuse Policy Options to Help Meet Growing Demand for Water in Saudi Arabia

February 18, 2015
  • Detailed Study of the Kingdom’s Water Reuse Recommends Four Major Policy Options Including Education and Outreach, Removing Barriers, Incentives and Mandates and Regulation
  • GE Presents White Paper at the Water Arabia 2015 Conference & Exhibition
  • Showcases Latest Technologies to Support the Kingdom’s Water Challenges

AL KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA-February 18, 2015-GE (NYSE: GE) will unveil an industry white paper on “Addressing Water Scarcity in Saudi Arabia: Policy Options for Continued Success,” at the Water Arabia 2015 Conference & Exhibition being held at Le Meridien Hotel in Al Khobar, February 17-19, 2015.

The white paper highlights four major water reuse policy options to governments including education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, mandates and regulations. GE also is showcasing its advanced range of desalination and water reuse technologies at the exhibition.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Water Environment Association and the Water Environment Federation, the Water Arabia 2015 Conference & Exhibition is the headlining event in the region, which hosts international and regional experts who discuss the challenges, opportunities and trends in the water sector. This year the theme is “Innovative & Reliable Water and Wastewater Technologies for Sustainable Water Quality.”

Co-authored by Colin Enssle, senior manager-Water and Process Technologies for GE Power & Water, and Jon Freedman, global government affairs leader-Water and Process Technologies for GE Power & Water, the white paper presents the water reuse landscape in the kingdom, the water reuse policy and regulations, a range of technology options to address water reuse challenges and success case studies from markets including Bahrain. It will be presented by Jon Freedman to industry experts and governmental officials on February 18 at the Water Arabia 2015 Conference & Exhibition.

“GE’s industry white paper, developed following extensive research of the kingdom’s water landscape, underlines our commitment to support Saudi Arabia in promoting water reuse, one of the strategies being adopted by the government to address increased demand,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO-water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “One of the challenges in implementing efficient water recycling and reuse programs is to find reliable data and information on policy options. The white paper presents strong policy options that are available to governments as well as how advanced technology platforms can help achieve the goal.”

According to research reports, Saudi Arabia aims to increase water reuse to more than 65 percent by 2020 and over 90 percent by 2040 by transforming its existing and planned wastewater treatment assets into source water suppliers across all sectors. Valued at over US$4.3 billion by Global Water Intelligence (GWI), the kingdom’s water reuse market is the third largest in the world. Over US$66 billion in long-term capital investments have been committed for water and sanitation projects in the kingdom in the next 10 years, while the government aims to achieve 100 percent reuse of wastewater from cities with 5,000 inhabitants or more by 2025.

“Our recommendations complement the recently launched National Water Strategy to address Saudi Arabia’s water challenges. With overall water reuse from treated wastewater at an impressive 30 to 40 percent, the kingdom has tremendous potential to enhance water reuse by over seven times to 241 million cubic meters per year,” added Jon Freedman.

The white paper highlights the water reuse patterns in the kingdom with agriculture accounting for the highest, followed by landscaping, industries and recreational purposes. GWI reports that water reuse will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent from 2,367 million cubic meters per day to 5,834 million cubic meters per day in 2035.

Water reuse is promoted in the kingdom through governmental decrees as well as the active participation of the private sector. The 9th Development Plan aims to increase treated wastewater reuse to 50 percent as one of its key goals. A new water law establishes a Supreme Council for Water Affairs and an independent regulator for water resources and water services and creates a water management department at the Ministry of Water & Electricity, which are among the projected policy goals in the sector for this year.

“GE’s white paper highlights many of the great steps the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already taken, and discusses four policy options that could serve as a valuable starting point to evaluate the appropriate mix of policies that best fit the kingdom’s needs going forward,” said Jon Freedman.

The first recommendation on promoting education and outreach focuses on recognition awards and certification programs as well as information dissemination and educational outreach. Removing barriers highlights how financial, regulatory and technical barriers to reuse can be overcome. Incentives as a policy option evaluate the scope of direct subsidies, pricing mechanisms and structuring water rights, while mandates and regulations restrict potable water to human and food-related uses as well as encourage utility companies to develop plans for recycled water.

At Water Arabia 2015, GE is presenting a range of technology options that are highlighted in the white paper including membrane-based systems and advanced chemistries for 70 to 85 percent recovery, thermal evaporation, crystallization and biological systems for 98 percent recovery and state-of-the-art wastewater recovery systems.

With a strong industry track record in delivering over 800 million liters of water for drinking, irrigation and municipal uses across the Middle East and North Africa, GE has been closely associated with the region’s water industry. The GE Saudi Water & Process Technology Center in Dammam and GE Water & Process Technologies Regional Center of Excellence in Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates are among key regional investments by the company in supporting the industry and meeting the growing demand for water.

GE delivers drinking water to about 1 million people in Algiers daily through the Hamma Desalination Plant, one of the largest membrane desalination facilities in Africa, and also provides advanced technologies for the world’s largest wastewater treatment plant in Sulaibiya in Kuwait. The Sulaibiya plant now is set to become the world’s largest-of-its-kind facility that uses membrane technology following an agreement with GE to drive its expansion.

To download a copy of the white paper, please go to

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

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Beth Coffman
Soteryx Corporation
[email protected]
+1 518 886 1076

Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
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