A river is a permanent body of running water. The United Nations recognizes 193 countries, some of which host impressive rivers like the Amazon and Mississippi. In fact, some countries have a network of more than 1,000 rivers.
For example, Russia has approximately 100,000 rivers, which is more than any other country in the world
Countries without rivers have alternative sources of water. Some of the riverless desert countries have wadis, which are temporary channels of water that flow mainly during the rainy season but are dry most part of the year.
Saudi Arabia is a nation where there is no river at all. Sure, there are a few lakes here and there, underwater sources, and oasis in the desert, still it consumes double the amount of water consumed by any developing nation in the world.
Now, for any prospective tourist in Dubai, Bahrain or any other city, the next obvious question considering this fact is–how does Saudi Arabia gets its supply of water to perform its daily rituals, cooking at those luxury hotels, running the posh malls, and carrying out other day to day activities?
Well, the fact is that Saudi relies heavily on two sources of water, groundwater, and the water extracted from desalination plants that remove salt from seawater. Groundwater is derived under earth’s crust where there is a wide layer of water which is procured in the form of wells, borewells etc.
Coming to desalinated water, Saudi Arabia is the biggest country in the world producing water extracted from saline sea water. However, the process of desalination is very energy intensive which demands a lot of expenditure.