Saudi Arabia sacks water minister over tariff bungle

Published April 28th, 2016

Saudi water and electricity minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen has been sacked by an order from the royal family after more than a decade in the job, following an uproar over the implementation of higher domestic water tariffs.

Sources in the Kingdom had indicated to GWI that Al-Hussayen and the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE) had the backing of the authorities for the reorganisation of pricing and slab tariff levels earlier this year (see GWI January 2016). At the time, the ministry was keen to downplay the impact of the changes, claiming that the majority of households would see very minimal changes in the amount they were paying for water. However, the intervening months have seen a large number of high-profile complaints over huge and unexplained rises in monthly water bills.

Al-Hussayen has been temporarily replaced by agriculture minister Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli.