Impact of Planting Wheat in Saudi Arabia on The Underground Water Resources

by Andrea Konkol, June 2014

2400 words

8 pages


Having read and analysed various sources of information on geography, economy, agriculture and ecology in Saudi Arabia I am now able to give broad overview on impact of planting wheat in Saudi Arabia on the underground water resources. This essay is therefore organised into 4 sections, which help to better elucidate the main subject of the paper.

In the first section I provide a short insight to the country geography, briefly describing the climate, the population, etc. The second section contains information on the kingdom’s economic situation: its main sources of receipts and expenditures and also a subsection about agriculture in the country. In the third section I elaborate on the issue of water resources in Saudi Arabia in general and the reasons for their depletion in particular. Hence, I come close to making a conclusion, which is the last section and which gives answers to the main question of the current essay, namely the impact of planting wheat in Saudi Arabia on the underground water resources.

Geographic review

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country located in the Arabian Peninsula with the capital in the city of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia lies at the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. It extends from the Red Sea on the west to the Arabian Gulf in the east. To the north it borders on Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait, and to the south, on Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman. To the east lie the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and the island state of Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia's terrain is varied but on the whole fairly barren and harsh, with salt flats, gravel plains, and sand dunes but few lakes or permanent streams. In the south is the Rub Al-Khali (Empty Quarter), the largest sand desert in the world. In the southwest, the mountain ranges of Asir Province rise to over 9,000 feet. (Arabian Careers)

The population of the country composes around 25 mln people, most of whom are Arab. Arabian Desert dominates the geography of the country, occupying approximately 40 per cent of the territory. The climate of Saudi Arabia is desert, with acutely low rainfall (about 500 mm of the annual precipitation). The country is extremely poor in rivers and lakes, however, a lot of wadis traverse the land (Weather Online).

Thus, the water resources in Saudi Arabia are scarce and very valuable — probably even more precious than oil, which can be found in abundance and comprises the main source of income for the country.

As long as Saudi Arabia is evolving at a fast pace, the demand for water grows rapidly, which spurs the government (the Ministry of Water and Electricity) to look for means of providing the population with water for drinking and industrial needs.

Economic aspects

As I already mentioned above, the main source of income for Saudi Arabia is oil industry, comprising 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings. The Saudi Arabia kingdom is currently the …

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