It’s a little-known fact that less than 3% of water on earth is freshwater; the rest is locked in polar ice, living things, the ground and of course . . . the sea.  With water scarcity a pressing global issue of ever-increasing importance, utilizing desalination technology – turning seawater into clean and safe drinking water – is a vital part of working towards a sustainable solution.

With construction of the Shuqaiq 3 Independent Water Project (IWP), US$ 600 million investment currently well underway in Saudi Arabia, a new video has been released showcasing the state-of-the-art technology and engineering at the plant as we follow the desalination process.

Located on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, Shuqaiq 3 is being developed by a consortium including Abdul Latif Jameel Energy’s water solutions company, Almar Water Solutions, and Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises; the project has already won awards in recognition of the importance of the project in the area. 

When operational, the desalination plant will use more than 7.000 reverse osmosis pressure vessels, equivalent to 54 kilometers, with more than 45,000 membranes working simultaneously to produce more than 18 million liters of pure water per hour.

That’s 450,000 cubic meters per day, or around 180 Olympic size swimming pools.

Shuqaiq 3 will supply drinking water to over 1.8 million people over 25 years, as well as provide water for agriculture and industry, bringing us one step closer to providing clean safe drinking water to those facing water scarcity.