NEOM Water Sector: Innovations and Projects

NEOM is not only an ambitious project that aims to create a sustainable and futuristic city in the northwest region of Saudi Arabia, but it is also a model for innovation in various sectors, including water. With the scarcity of fresh water resources and the increasing demand for water worldwide, NEOM’s water sector plays a crucial role in providing sustainable solutions for water management and usage. In this post, we will explore some of the innovations and projects in the NEOM water sector.

NEOM’s water sector is a vital component of the city’s ambitious plan to create a sustainable and futuristic model for urban development. Through the development of desalination projects, wastewater treatment and reuse projects, and water conservation and efficiency projects, NEOM aims to provide sustainable solutions for water management and usage. With the implementation of these projects, NEOM will not only be a model for innovation but also a model for sustainable water management practices.

Scenic view of Red Sea rocky coastline of Saudi Arabia in Aqaba gulf

Neom: Key Projects in the Water Sector

Solar Dome

Solar Dome is a state-of-the-art, solar-powered seawater desalination plant that employs a unique, innovative dome structure to collect and concentrate sunlight. The dome’s design is optimized to maximize the absorption of solar radiation, making it an incredibly efficient way of harnessing the sun’s energy to produce clean, drinkable water.

One of the most remarkable features of the Solar Dome is its impressive production capacity. It is estimated that this revolutionary desalination plant will be able to produce an astonishing 60,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day. This is a truly impressive figure, especially when compared to traditional desalination methods that are often slow and inefficient.

The Solar Dome’s reliance on solar energy makes it an environmentally-friendly alternative to more traditional, fossil-fuel powered desalination plants. Its use of renewable energy sources helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

Moreover, the Solar Dome’s location is also significant in terms of its impact on the surrounding ecosystem. As the desalination plant is situated near the coast, it can help to reduce the pressure on local freshwater sources and limit the impact of seawater intake on marine life.

An aerial view of wastewater treatment plant with round pools for filtration of dirty water

NEOM Reservoir

The NEOM Reservoir is an innovative water storage facility that promises to revolutionize water management in the region. Boasting a staggering capacity of 30 million cubic meters, this state-of-the-art reservoir utilizes advanced technologies to optimize water usage and ensure efficient distribution.

Equipped with smart technologies that can monitor and control water levels in real-time, the NEOM Reservoir represents a significant step forward in the field of water management. By using these advanced systems, the reservoir can better regulate the flow of water and minimize waste, reducing the strain on existing water resources.

In addition to its impressive storage capacity and cutting-edge technology, the NEOM Reservoir is also a vital component of the region’s sustainability efforts. By providing a reliable source of water, the reservoir helps to support agriculture, promote economic growth, and improve the overall quality of life for local communities.

Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance

The Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance project is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing the chronic water scarcity in the Middle East. The joint project between Jordan and Israel involves the construction of a canal that will transfer water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. This ambitious project is expected to transfer up to 200 million cubic meters of water per year, which will help to alleviate the water crisis in the region.

The construction of the canal will involve the use of advanced technologies and engineering solutions to ensure that the project is both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable. The water that will be transferred from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea will be desalinated and treated to ensure its quality, which will help to mitigate any potential negative impacts on the fragile ecosystem of the Dead Sea.

The Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance project is expected to have numerous benefits for the region. In addition to addressing water scarcity, the project will also provide a reliable source of water for agricultural and industrial activities, as well as for domestic use. The project will also create new job opportunities and stimulate economic growth in the region.

Rain-Based Farming:

Rain-Based Farming is a revolutionary project being undertaken by NEOM to address the issue of water scarcity in the region. By using advanced cloud seeding techniques, NEOM plans to increase rainfall in the area and promote sustainable agriculture. The project is expected to increase the rainfall in the region by up to 20%, providing a much-needed boost to the local farming industry.

Cloud seeding is a process that involves adding chemicals to clouds to encourage rainfall. NEOM is using advanced techniques to ensure the success of the project, including the use of drones to monitor cloud formations and predict rainfall patterns. By increasing the amount of rainfall in the region, NEOM hopes to support sustainable agriculture and reduce the strain on existing water resources.

The benefits of this project extend beyond just agriculture, as increased rainfall can also help to replenish local water sources, such as aquifers and rivers. With a sustainable source of water, communities in the region will be able to thrive and grow, without having to worry about the effects of droughts and water shortages.

Young pears on a tree after rain. Close up.

The NEOM Brine Processing Plant

The NEOM Brine Processing Plant will be delivered in three or more stages, with an initial capacity of up to 333,000 m3 per day, a second phase of 333,000 m3 per day, and a third phase delivering a total capacity of 1,000,000 m3 per day. NEOM plans to use advanced reverse osmosis membrane and hybrid technologies to achieve >60% recovery, efficiencies, and cost reductions, integrated with brine processing and achieving Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD).

NEOM’s innovative approach to brine processing not only provides a revenue stream but also addresses the challenge of environmentally responsible disposal. By optimizing the harvesting of minerals and metals from brine, NEOM has found a way to make desalination a more sustainable solution for providing freshwater. The NEOM Brine Processing Plant is a prime example of NEOM’s commitment to advancing sustainable technologies and creating a better future for generations to come.

As part of NEOM’s vision for a sustainable future, environmental sustainability and wise resource use are at the forefront. NEOM aims to implement circular economic models across all fields, where all waste is utilized as valuable resources.

Wastewater Treatment in Neom

Traditionally, wastewater treatment generates a lot of waste in the form of biosolids or sludge. However, NEOM sees this as an opportunity to turn waste into a valuable resource. Biosolids are a nutrient-rich organic material with the potential for nutrient and energy recovery, making them a valuable resource for sustainable agriculture.

NEOM Wastewater aims to implement best practices in biosolids management from the ground up. The focus is on leveraging the regional need for land application and energy-neutral processes with Water Recycling and Recovery Plants (WRRPs). These plants will not only help to manage waste effectively but also recover resources and reuse them to support agriculture and other industries.

The circular economy approach to waste management is not only environmentally friendly but also has economic benefits. By treating waste as a resource, NEOM can create new revenue streams, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, and lower the environmental impact of waste management. NEOM is committed to creating a sustainable future through innovative and environmentally responsible solutions. By implementing circular economy models for waste management, NEOM is setting an example for other regions to follow.

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