This Day in History

This Day in History (1974) HM King Faysal opens Desalination Plant

The plant was designed to produce 7.5 million gallons of sweet water daily.

This Day in History (1974) HM King Faysal opens Desalination Plant

From the Dec. 11, 1974 edition of The Arabian Sun


His Majesty King Faysal ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz Al Sa'ud officially inaugurated the desalination plant at al-Aziziyah. The ceremony was held last Thursday during His Majesty's visit to the Eastern Province.


His Majesty was accompanied by HRH Amir Fahd ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, Second Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of the Interior; HRH Amir Misha'al ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz and HRH Amir Sultan ibn 'Abd al-Aziz, Minister of Defense. They were received by HRH Amir Muhammad al-Faysal, Governor of the General Desalination Organization, and Hassan Mishari, Minister of Agriculture and Water.


The plant can produce 7.5 million gallons of sweet water daily from its three 2.5 million gallon desalting units. The desalted water, which as a saline content of 25 parts per million, is mixed with water from underground sources that has a saline content of 2,500 parts per million.


The mix creates water with a salinity of 1,000 parts per million, which meets United Nations standards for drinking water.


Basically, the desalination process at al-'Aziziyah is fairly simple. Salt water from the Arabian Gulf is heated to 235 degrees Fahrenheit, which causes the water to vaporize and leave the salt behind. The salt-free vapors rise, come into contact with a cooling tube, and recondense into sweet water, which is filtered off.


Also on this date

2020 — The Food and Drug Administration issues an Emergency Use Authorization on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the agency


2009 — Finnish game developer Rovio Entertainment releases the hit mobile game Angry Birds internationally on iOS


2008 Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion pyramid scheme


2001 China joins the World Trade Organization


1997 The Kyoto Protocol opens for signature


1978 The Lufthansa heist is committed by a group led by the Lucchese family associated Jimmy Burke. It was the largest cash robbery ever committed on American soil at the time.


1972 Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the moon


1964 Che Guevara speaks at the UN General Assembly


1934 Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, takes his last drink and enters treatment for the final time


1913 More than two years after it was stolen from the Louvre, the Mona Lisa is recovered in Florence, Italy, and its thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, is arrested


1792 King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason


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