Saudi Arabia

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia’s adaptation efforts are aimed at enhancing resilience and accelerating the process of diversifying the economy. The country plans to work on integrated water management, urban mass transport, marine protection, desertification, soil degradation, coastal zone management and development of early warning systems. Mitigation co-benefits of adaptation actions have been assessed and recognized. With international cooperation, Saudi Arabia will conduct research and development activities to assess the implications of the climate measures for its economy and sustainable development.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Implement comprehensive agricultural development programs.
  • Encourage farmers to make use of tools that help manage irrigation water better, such as soil probes for a better scheduling of irrigation water deliveries.
  • Intensify agricultural extension so as to make farmers more aware of the need to conserve water resources.
  • Develop and implement effective regulations for the protection of soils, natural plants, rangelands, forests and wildlife.
  • Conduct research studies on combating sand encroachment on agricultural and urban facilities.
  • Manage and develop rangelands in different regions to slow desertification.
  • Stop the distribution of agricultural land except in regions with sufficient renewable water resources.
  • Develop and implement water protection and conservation regulations.
  • Construct wastewater treatment plants and implement wastewater reuse schemes for landscape and crop irrigation in different regions.
  • Introduce and implement advanced water conservation support policies at the residential level.
  • Implement modern leakage detection and control schemes in major cities.
  • Implement integrated coastal zone management programs.
  • Introduce regulation and enforcement frameworks for future coastal area development activities.
  • Protect groundwater resources from pollution and saline water intrusion resulting from poorly planned and managed coastal development.
  • Conserve and conduct sustainable use of marine and fishery resources through the development and strict implementation of policy, legislative and management tools.
  • Conduct comprehensive planning, conservation and management of living marine resources.

Gaps and Needs

  • Continued research is needed on technology options for adaptation in the water resources and agriculture sectors, including crop research.
  • Existing community coping mechanisms to climate variability need to be inventoried and experiences that can be replicated or scaled-up identified.
  • Activities of the drought monitoring and early warning center to ensure proper use of information for forecasting and early warning programs need to be facilitated.
  • Improved data analysis, sharing and coordination are necessary. Information on water resources, risks and vulnerability in different sectors and regions need to be disseminated at all levels, as improved public awareness and involvement will be an essential part of future adaptation programs. This will facilitate decision making, as well as improve the success of implementing adaptation measures.
  • Capacity building and funding for major long-term ecological studies and development of local predictive models are needed.
  • Capacity must be built to use, modify and develop appropriate modelling, forecasting and decision- support tools and software.
  • Measured data and appropriate local and regional models to fully assess local climate change impacts are lacking.