• Saudi Arabia plans to double the water tariff for industrial customers, according to local press
  • The move is aimed to discourage demand growth through wasteful consumption, and save public money

Saudi Arabia will raise water tariffs for industrial consumers, according to local press.

Reports indicate that the tariff for industrial customers will rise from SR4 ($1.07) per cubic metre to SR9 in December.

Saudi Arabia has historically subsidised tariffs for electricity and water, meaning very low rates. This has allowed

Residential consumers will not be affected by the price rises.

The government is trying to reduce demand growth for costly desalinated water and discourage waste, according to local media.

The Saline Water Conversion Company is planning nine desalination plants, with a total capacity of 3 million cubic metres a day to cope with rising demand.

The move may incentive twastewater reuse, which currently accounts for only 1 per cent of total supply, according to Arabian Gulf University.

Saudi Arabia is now facing a fiscal deficit of 21.6 per cent of GDP according to the IMF. It has implemented savings measures in the final quarter to attempt to control spending. However, US-based Moody’s Investors Services predicts that Saudi Arabia will overspend on its budget by 19 per cent in 2015.

This follows moves in the UAE to raise electricity and water tariffs, and derugulate fuel prices.