Saudi Arabia megaproject: Inside the river that will be longer than the Nile

Saudi Arabia megaproject: Inside the river that will be longer than the Nile



The river will be the world’s largest source of drinkable water.

Egypt’s Nile River is the world’s longest river, but Saudi Arabia is hoping to change that with its latest megaproject. The kingdom aims to create the world’s largest source of drinkable water, and here's what we know about the developments.

The news was reported in the kingdom’s TV series Seen. Reporter Ahmad Al Shugairi explained: “We are talking about the longest, twice the longest river in the world. They are all underground pipes that bring us fresh, good water."

The megaproject involves digging a river that is four metres deep, 11 metres wide, 12,000 kilometres long, and anti-corrosion pipes with a diameter of 2.25 metres. The pipes will run for 126,000 kilometres – to put that into perspective, it can run around the world three times. And, to give you some idea of the sheer scale, the Nile River is 6,650 kilometres.

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest producers of desalinated water. Each year, the kingdom produces over one billion and six million cubic meters of water. The project aims to produce 9.4 million cubic meters of water each day, and provide two gallons of water to every person in the world.

Saudi Arabia may as well be turning into one big megaproject. Thanks to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to put the country on the tourism map. The kingdom is the James Cameron of megaprojects, as Middle East ambition meets blockbuster scale.

If you want proof of how grand these plans are, these are not called megaprojects but gigaprojects. So, we’re not just looking at millionaire dollar developments, but billionaire dollar ones. We’re talking UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the world’s longest skyscraper and cities rising from the sand.

Saudi, we’re impressed.

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