Red Sea: Water Efficiency

With operations concentrated in the Middle East region, developing expertise in water conservation is essential for both our long-term sustainability goals and our short-term business growth ambitions too.

  • Responsible consumption and productionResponsible consumption and production
  • Clean water and sanitationClean water and sanitation

Conserving water in the desert

Red Sea International is construction business, focusing on modular buildings for various real estate and industrial sectors, affordable housing and supplying building material solutions. Operating in Middle East, Africa and Asia, Red Sea International employs 2,000 people.

In 2021-22, Red Sea International has treated and reused 206 megaliters of water, representing 55% of business’ total waste water output. This has delivered a saving of nearly $700,000.

Alongside this, the management of water use has also increased. In 2021 there were zero line losses or major leaks in water infrastructure. A 2.5% improvement on the previous year.

[206]
megaliters of water treated and reused in last year
[66]%
of operating sites are in remote desert locations

The challenge

A World Bank Report notes that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is home to six percent of the world’s population, yet just one percent of the world’s freshwater resources, making it the most water-scarce region in the world. Saudi Arabia, where Red Sea International is headquartered, has been classified as one of the most water-scarce nations on earth.  

Operating in this region where water is a scarce and very valuable resource, Red Sea International recognised that water conservation and reuse is crucial. This is particularly vital at remote desert sites, these make up approximately 66% of Red Sea’s operating sites. 

The response and results

To combat the water scarcity issues at desert sites Red Sea International has designed and built waste water treatment plants for their developments. The treated waste water is then reused to water the landscape.

This investment reduces the need for water to be transported to these remote sites via tankers. Previously the water used for maintaining the landscape was shipped in and waste water was transported back to waste water treatment plants in urban areas. These developments have in effect reduced both carbon emissions and water consumption at these remote desert sites. 

The project is progressing well with 36% of suitable sites operating purpose-built waste water treatment plants in 2021. The development plan for 2022 is to achieve a target of 45% of suitable sites equipped with these water treatment plants. 

Red Sea is now operating an upgraded water management process and improved monitoring of water usage. Previously the water monitoring data was reported monthly. The new system is much more proactive with daily and real-time information on water leaks so they can be actioned immediately.