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Water and environmental services operations over Hajj are a success

The water distribution services sector represented by the National Water Company announced that its operational plan to manage water distribution and environmental services during the recently concluded pilgrimage season was a success.

NWC had set in place early plans for technical operations and systems, organizational and operational structures and necessary integration with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC). It had also coordinated with local authorities and allocated appropriate staffing and other resources to achieve the best performance standards in the management of the water distribution services sector during this season.

Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Moqli, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture for Water Services and CEO of the National Water Company, said: "The company succeeded in managing this holy season thanks to God first, the support and guidance of the wise leadership, and the constant monitoring of HRH Prince Khaled Al Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah and Chairman of Hajj Central Committee, and Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture."

Al Moqli added that careful planning, early preparations, development of operational programs for the pilgrimage season, and coordination and cooperation with the relevant authorities played a major role in guaranteeing the excellence of services and performance of the water sector and led to unprecedented achievements in the water distribution sector in Makkah and the Al Mashaer Holy Sites.

"These achievements included upgrading technical and operational services, providing substantial reserves of water in coordination with SWCC, and creating the necessary strategic and operational storage system in the Al Mashaer with reserves of water hitting a peak of more than 2.25 million cubic meters."

Eng. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Ghamdi, Director General of Water in Makkah Region, revealed that a total 30 million cubic meters of water have been pumped into the water networks in Makkah and Al Mashaer over the pilgrimage season until Dhu Al-Hijjah 13.

The pumping plan will be completed by the end of the month of Dhu Al-Hijjah and about 40 million cubic meters will be distributed in coordination with SWCC.

Al-Ghamdi pointed out that the completion of integrated remote operating systems in Makkah and Al Mashaer, administered through two SCADA remote control centers, provided high flexibility in terms of operations, control and management of pressure in the network. These systems monitored water pressure in remote supply networks and air conditioning.

"The availability of smart and mobile laboratory systems supported by qualified national staff has contributed to ensuring and maintaining the quality of water even at peak consumption levels," he said.

He added that organizational efforts played a prominent role in the success of plans and programs that were developed early and highly efficient services system that have been trialed since Dhu Al-Qidah 15.

Al-Ghamdi said early planning and coordination contributed to substantial improvements in services management systems compared to last year, especially as water distributed in Makkah increased by 21 percent compared to last year – a rate of 850,000 cubic meters. Around 45 percent more water was distributed in Al Mashaer.

Incidents of water supplies running low in Makkah decreased by 22 percent, while in Al Mashaer they dropped by 41 percent. Incidents of sewage flooding in Al Mashaer dropped by 50 percent.

Over 50,000 cubic meters of water were supplied to Grand Mosque toilets daily from two different sources in order to ensure good pressure water supply while maintaining 75 percent of the actual strategic inventory until Dhu Al-Hijjah 13. This, said Al-Ghamdi, was an unprecedented achievement that contributed to the efficiency of control systems, operation plans, network management and ensured effective rationalization.

Al-Ghamdi added that environmental services (sewage) systems during the pilgrimage season demonstrated excellent results in terms of efficiency compared to last year. He said the capacity of the sewage network in Aziziyah increased through operational adjustments to accommodate increases in sewage by more than 25 percent. Around 800,000 cubic meters of sewage a day were collected during the peak of the pilgrimage season.

Al-Ghamdi said these successes were due to a highly flexible operational plan and there were no serious disruptions in the management of the water and environmental services sectors in Makkah and Al Mashaer. He also credited the highly prepared working teams including company staff, contractors and 3,500 other employees who worked around the clock to monitor performance and manage operating rooms, main control rooms and field teams.

Government and private entities whose strategic partnerships with NWC were a key reason for these successes include the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, SWCC, security forces, the Secretariat of the Holy Capital, General Directorate of Civil Defense, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, the Saudi Electricity Company and Zain Company.