The Saudi water sector, like the entire country, has undergone tremendous changes over the past decades from a system based on the use of local renewable water resources for small-scale irrigation and limited domestic uses to a system largely based on the use of desalinated water and fossil groundwater for large-scale irrigation and domestic, commercial and industrial uses at a level comparable to developed countries. The Saline Water Conversion Corporation, created in 1965, has been an important player in this process of change.
In 2003 the Ministry of Water and Energy was created. It took over the water resources management function from the Ministry of Agricultural and Water and the responsibility for water supply and sanitation from the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs. In the same year the Water & Electricity Company was created as an off-taker for water and electricity produced by the IWPPs.