2 thoughts on “The great artificial river contest”

  1. Don’t forget that it was the visionary Muammar Qadhafi who created The Great Man-made River. Of course Qadhafi’s project drew on underground aquifers, eventually to be depleted. I suppose it is preferable to be drawing water from the sea but, like the space-trash now orbiting the earth, when will the brine begin to be a hazard having a negative effect on sea life?

  2. KSA has shorelines only on the Red Sea and the Gulf, both of which are enclosed, with few rivers flowing into them and in hot regions: evaporation is high. As a result, their starting salinity (and thus the efficiency of desalination) is much higher than with the waters of the open ocean. While better than the Red Sea / Gulf, the eastern Mediterranean is also more saline than the open ocean for similar reasons.

    Water is heavy (1t/m3), and will require vast amounts of energy to pump across to Riyadh etc. One of the few sensible aspects to NEOM is that it is on the coast: bringing the people to the water, rather than vice versa.

    A final thought occurs: the regional leaders in desalination technology are the Israelis, who are likely to demand recognition in return for their technology.

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