Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries on the planet that does not have a river flowing through it. While the vast majority of the Arabian desert is located within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, portions of it also stretch into neighboring nations such as Jordan, Iraq, and Qatar. It is also the only country in the world that shares borders with both the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Some people are perplexed as to how the soil obtains its water. Saudi Arabia may not have rivers, but it does have wadis, which are dry riverbeds. A wadi is a dry riverbed that only retains water when it rains, which is rare in the desert. For its water needs, Saudi Arabia primarily relies on two sources, namely groundwater and water derived from desalination plants, which remove salt from seawater.
Because there are no rivers or lakes in the kingdom, and there is nearly no rain, groundwater accounts for 98 percent of the country's water supplies. Desalination accounts for about half of all drinking water production, with surface water accounting for 10% and nonrenewable groundwater extraction accounting for 40% of total production.
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