Stakeholders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are concerned about the sustainability of the country’s water system. The Ninth Development Plan (2009-2014) formulates a number of policy directives to make the water system more sustainable. Assessing whether these policies can improve the degree of sustainability of the water system is a challenge because it is linked with many economic sectors, and characterized by a high degree of uncertainty. Conventional techniques of assessing water system performance do not reveal system wide impacts of water system policies, either on the supply- or the demand-side.
This paper presents an approach and some preliminary results in evaluating policies to assess their degree of sustainability. A multi-generational comprehensive wealth framework captures the notion of sustainability across the economy, which the analysis applies partially for water system assessment. By including uncertainty formulations in a system dynamics model, the analysis provides a risk-based view of water system performance showing that policy impacts under uncertainty are likely to be very different than those expected in deterministic planning scenarios.