The General Directorate of Irrigation Affairs was established by the Ministerial Resolution no. 61766/10/6 dated 5-12-2004, to supervise the organization, planning and follow-up of irrigation and agricultural drainage projects and plans, enforcing laws and regulations, determining water rations and ensuring safety of irrigation water for human health.
Tasks and Responsibilities
• Monitoring available water resources, providing information about them and analyzing them, and taking the required measures;
• Preparing a long-term plan for progressive development of irrigation water resources and following-up execution procedures with the relevant authorities;
• Following up the execution of plans and organizational procedures to ensure high-quality performance;
• Following up analysis of water resources available from different sources and achieving the required balance for preserving its validity for irrigation purposes;
• Conducting the required studies and applied research to ensure quality of the irrigation programs in enriching use of available water resources on soil and quality of plant production;
• Conducting research, studies and field surveys to draw strategy to utilize seasonal rains and rains harvesting techniques to help farmers make use of this resource;
• Conducting studies and research to determine controls over water rations for agricultural products and irrigation practices systems;
• Encouraging and directing research to figuring out drought- and salinity-resistant plant strains;
• Proposing solutions for overcoming different obstacles;
• Technically supervising performance of irrigation sections in the regions, and attempting to develop them and promote professional qualifications of their officials;
• Considering setting criteria and standard specifications that are suitable for the conditions in KSA for use of treated wastewater as a sustainable source for irrigation water to support expansion of its use in the agricultural sector;
• Coordinating with the Undersecretariat of Water Affairs to determine a mechanism for handling citizens licensing requests for drilling wells for agricultural purposes or cleaning and deepening licenses;
• Drawing up plans and practical programs for providing irrigation water, in coordination with the Undersecretariat of Water Affairs and preparing and following up distribution programs to farms located in affiliated service areas in regions and governorates according to the water needs of every farm and following up the implementation according to the regulating procedures;
• Encouraging and guiding farmers to use rationalizing irrigation systems and how to create closed irrigation networks;
• Receiving and examining requests from general departments and directorates in different regions for using treated wastewater in irrigation;
• Intensifying agricultural guidance programs on water to increase farmers awareness with the importance of preserving water resources and activating agricultural cooperatives role in this regard, in coordination with the competent authorities;
• Supporting and encouraging improvement and development fields as to reducing water consumption in irrigation activities, including technical development, and examining suggestions for establishing associations for water users all over KSA;
• The General Department has taken part in the 10th conference of the Saudi Society for Agricultural Sciences that was held in Al-Qassim on 17-18/1438 H, that was titled: Agricultural Trends Towards Using Treated Wastewater for Palms Farms Irrigation in some of the Riyadh Region governorates, and another conference titled: Actual Total Water Needs of Dates Palms in Al-Qassim; The Department also took part in Al-Jenadriyah 31st Cultural and Heritage Festival in 2017, and Jeddah Agricultural Forum 2017.
• The Department has also arranged three training courses in cooperation with the agricultural training centers in Riyadh: the first was titled: Safe Use of Treated Water for Agricultural Purposes; the second was titled: Irrigation Water Management; and the third titled: Irrigation Water Scheduling.
Laws, Legislations and Regulations
• The Water Resources Conservation Law, issued by the Royal Decree no. M/34 on 7-7-1980;
• Cabinet Resolution no. 32 on Vegetables Farms Monitoring Committees; and
• Treated Waster Reuse Regulations and the Bylaw issued by the Royal Decree no. M/6 dated 17-5-2000.