Development is basically based on the four factors of production, that is, land, capital, labor, and entrepreneurship. Land is a major factor as it lays the foundation for the other factors in production. Land entails the development of production industries and infrastructure such as transport means, which facilitate the production process. Saudi Arabia is an arid country but boasts of its wealth in oil, for it one the major world oil suppliers. The country’s geographical location subjects it to harsh climatic changes, which are sometimes unpredictable.
This makes the development of industrial structures, housing units, and even infrastructure more prone to damage that maybe caused by the climatic changes.
Possible climatic changes in Saudi Arabia include floods, heat waves, sand storms, and wildfires. Rainfall levels varies depending on regional differences on the basis of the adopted climatic models regionally and globally thus making weather forecast predictions and climate modelling difficult. Rainfalls that cause flood subjects the country to a lot of damage of property and infrastructure (Laczko and Aghazarm, p.
112-120). Extreme rainfall events will increase in intensity and frequency, for example the flooding in Jeddah I 2010, which left over 150 people dead and resulted to damage of properties as well (McLean, p.46-60). The floods were initiated by an intense rainfall that doubled the estimated scale of rainfall per year. These floods have a great impact on the engineering sector, for it is in charge of the development of infrastructure; the infrastructure may be associated with production, housing, water supplies, or other related social amenities.
The Saudi government, the business community, and general public are required to cooperate and integrate ideas on the development of infrastructure and comply with the stipulated standards. This will ensure the strength of the infrastructure to withstand the hostility of the climatic changes (Hanrath and Wael, p.20).
Heat waves are also common in a coastal and an arid country such as Saudi Arabia. Due to high temperatures heat waves are frequently experienced. This has an impact on the power required to maintain a sustainable and favorable conditions for the citizens as well as the production processes which have to be undertaken under temperate conditions. The erection of power generating companies should be done in consideration of the climatic changes, that is, to meet the demand and withstands the challenges posed by the climate challenges (McLean, p.50). Consideration of assessment and development of the required power output, pools together corporations across various industries; to share ideas, pool together resources (exchanges), and with an objective of profit making. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also essential in development of such, as it is a harmonized way of giving back to the society. Companies erect projects that are meant to be of help to the general public with no economic aim in mind (Riley and Brulle, p.50-65).
Development of these structures and infrastructure is an economic as well as a social aspect, as it involves the society and the available resources. A study warns that climate changes threaten Saudi agricultural production and drinking water supplies. A study warns that climate changes threaten Saudi drinking water supplies. Clean supply of clean water to the public is a major challenge rising especially in an arid country.
Water availability and the quality are yardsticks in other matters of public concern such as, health and agriculture. Quenching thirst is a primary need, but relatively, hygiene and sanitation, and food security rely on water supply. Regions are posed by different challenges related to water supply, depending on the location, nature, and economic priorities attached to the region also contributes to the policy decision of a proposed development of a project. Examples of adaptation and mitigation measures that can help reduce the strain on conventional water resources (surface waters and fossil aquifers or groundwater) include desalination, wastewater recycling and reuse, and outsourcing food items or ‘virtual water trade.’ These are strategies being used by Saudi Arabia, a country that is water poor primarily due to decades of irresponsible irrigation practices. The human and environmental health risks associated with these adaptation measures, and strategies developed examine them. Participation of international, multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration will be needed to promote global water security and to protect human health, and to provide the essential resources necessary for their own adaptation.
This has been evidenced in agreements by Four Arab Gulf states, who have committed a total of US$750 million worth of resources meant to aid in tackling issues related to climate changes. This was an announcement made after a summit held in Riyadh, by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) executives.
Saudi Arabia will invest US$300 million in the fund, with Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates pledging US$150 million each.
The fund aims to support cleaner and more efficient petroleum technologies for the protection of the local, regional and global environment, and promote the development of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
It will also promote the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies from advanced countries to the 12 OPEC member countries, as well as other developing nations.
Christoph Bals, Executive Director of Policy at the nongovernmental organization Germanwatch, told SciDev.Net that the next step for OPEC’s Arab countries is to diversify their strategy towards solar energy and energy efficiency, to benefit both Arab countries and the world climate.
He said that, it is not yet proven that CCS would get to be a better pillar of an international climate strategy. Storing carbon dioxide on earth has less risk than storing it in the atmosphere. Others believe that exploring CCS technology is a waste of resources and legitimizes reliance on fossil fuels. Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, believes that oil’s role in the global energy mix cannot be ignored (Gupta and Imran, p.85-89).
Overall decline in rainfall projected for Mediterranean North Africa, western and northern Sahara, as well as eastern Mediterranean with up to 30%, higher over parts of Morocco. Overall increase in rainfall projected for Eastern and central Sahel, and southern Arabian Peninsular. Regional models tend to predict increase in monsoon strength, higher summer rainfall, more robust monsoon, greening of parts of southern Sahara, for moderate increases in greenhouse gases (e.g. up to ~550ppm). Uncertainty greatest over western Sahel Changes may be broadly characterized as northwards shift of Saharan climatic zone, expanding into Mediterranean coastal region and retreating to north in Sahelian region (Swain and Ja?gerskog, p.82-100).
It is wise to recommend development of more climate-proof infrastructure, better drainage systems and networks, and water harvesting and preservation. Better management of water resources, such as maximizing the use of treated wastewater, and shifting the crop growing periods re recommended by Chowdhury’s study.
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