Pipe burst raises worries of water crisis in Riyadh

Pipe burst raises worries of water crisis in Riyadh

When a pipeline pumping water to Riyadh from a desalination plant in the Eastern Province burst on Friday. — Okaz photo

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — One of the main pipes belonging to the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) pumping water to Riyadh burst on Friday, raising concerns among residents about an impending water shortage.

SWCC’s official spokesman Sultan Al-Otaibi said the maintenance and industrial safety teams were dealing with the incident.

“The corporation posted on Twitter that it will fix the pipeline within 48 hours and will resume pumping water to the city as usual. The burst happened on the Pipeline No. 2 at 1:00 p.m. near Kilo 18,” said Al-Otaibi.
He said more than 10 pipelines pump water to Riyadh from desalination plants in Jubail and Rass Al-Khair.

“The city will not be greatly affected by the pipeline burst as it depends mostly on Pipeline No. 12 and secondary pipelines from the Jubail desalination plant,” said Al-Otaibi.

He said there have been rumors that the cause of the burst was the excavation work for the Riyadh Metro Project.

“These rumors are false and the incident is unrelated to the work for the metro project,” Al-Otaibi said.

“The rumors stemmed from the plans of the National Water Company to switch the path of Pipeline No. 2 to make way for the railway infrastructure plan as well as for the drainage network,” said Al-Otaibi.

A source from the National Water Company said the company had to stop pumping water to switch the pipes.

“The company stopped pumping a total of 480,000 cubic meters of water a day from Jan. 5 to Jan. 16. We increased pumping to Saad Plant No. 2 to slowly compensate for the loss over time,” said the source.

The source said the plan to stop the pumping of water was carried out smoothly in coordination with the Traffic Department, the SWCC, Riyadh Metro Project and the municipality.


  1. There was so many rumors that there will be a shortage of water in Riyadh and Dammam, I did not see this article earlier, Just now i see, Its proved water shortage was a rumor.

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