Amongst the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Saudi Arabia’s volume of internal renewable water resources amounted to around 2.4 billion cubic meters per year in recent years.
The Gulf Cooperation Council region depends heavily on the desalination of water. The United Arab Emirates desalinated about two billion cubic meters water in 2015. This was substantially more than Saudi Arabia, even though the United Arab Emirates is much smaller in terms of land area. At the same time, the annual volume of treated wastewater used in the United Arab Emirates was substantially higher compared to the other states in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
Though the entire region suffers from droughts and a high level of water scarcity, almost 100 percent of the urban population in each state has access to water. Similarly, the rural population in the Gulf Cooperation Council region has close to 100 percent access to water, with the exception of Oman where only 87 percent of the rural population has access to water.
So far, most Gulf Cooperation Council countries charge their citizens a small subsidized rate for water utilities. This however is set to change, as the governments in the region as well as citizens are becoming more and more aware of the water crisis affecting their countries.
Access to water is in general a global concern, as the future the demand for fresh water will increase for municipal and domestic usage, as well as for industry and agricultural use. The Gulf Cooperation Council States, as well as the rest of the Middle Eastern region, are primarily dependent on freshwater sources for domestic use.