Zamzam water
For centuries, Saudi Arabia's rulers have cared for the sacred Zamzam water Image Credit: SPA

Saudi Arabia has a long and distinguished history of caring for and offering the sacred Zamzam water, which holds great significance for Muslims.

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The late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud initiated this dedication to Zamzam water in 1345 AH by ordering the construction of a sabil, a public drinking fountain. The following year, he commissioned a second sabil and oversaw the repair and covering of the Zamzam well itself. Successive Saudi monarchs have taken steps to preserve this water source.

King Saud bin Abdulaziz implemented a pump for water extraction and a nearby distribution building. Following the first expansion of the circumambulation area in 1377 AH, the Zamzam well was placed beneath it, easing congestion for pilgrims.

King Faisal bin Abdulaziz further demonstrated his commitment by ordering the construction of a second basement for the well in 1393 AH, enhancing visitor comfort during religious rituals.

King Khalid bin Abdulaziz followed suit with a comprehensive cleaning operation conducted by divers.

During King Fahd bin Abdulaziz's reign, the landmark Second Expansion Project for the Grand Mosque included a dedicated drinking and drainage water system. This featured two large pumps for Zamzam water, numerous drinking fountains, with an additional pump installed later.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's reign saw a significant leap forward with the establishment of a state-of-the-art purification station and bottling and transportation facility. This automated and monitored system, named the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Zamzam Water Project, further ensured the quality and accessibility of the holy water. He also launched two additional projects: one for automated cleaning and another for redesigning Zamzam water containers to optimise protection, flow, and ease of access.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud continued this legacy. In 1439 AH, he approved the completion of the Zamzam well's rehabilitation, including thorough disinfection, debris removal, and environmental monitoring. Additionally, five special service passages were constructed.

The blessed journey of Zamzam water extends from the well to pilgrims at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque. Two giant pumps extract Zamzam water from the well at a rate of 360 cubic meters per hour. This water is then delivered to the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Zamzam Water Project for storage, disinfection, and onward distribution to designated locations.

A network of approximately four kilometers of stainless steel pipelines, equipped with air chambers, cleaning chambers, and control systems, safely transports the Zamzam water.