GCC tactic aims to intensify water resources

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In late June 2014, the UAE commenced a worldwide campaign to provide 5 million people around the world with clean drinking water.

GCC tactic aims to intensify water resources

GCC tactic aims to intensify water resources

Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum stated that the water in UAE is a great blessing and their ancestors knew its precious worth because they were deprived of it. They are also aware of its importance because a substantial portion of their financial resources are allotted to giving water.

The GCC states are among the most water-scarce in the world. With the exemption of the coastal areas in southwestern Saudi Arabia and Oman which have quite good rates of rainfall to recharge groundwater, the majority of groundwater in the GCC is non-renewable, with ages ranging between 6,000 and 22,000 years, according to the chairman of water resources management committee in Bahrain’s Arabian Gulf University.

Abstraction of groundwater is nevertheless diminishing available supply and, in some other cases, wells are running dry. On the other, aquifers are suffering from seawater intrusion and are becoming increasingly saline. For the agricultural sector which is the biggest user of groundwater in the region, this is having some serious consequences including forcing the closure of farms.

For the UAE, on the other hand, the use of treated sewerage effluent (TSE) is just one of the measures being pursued to reduce reliance on groundwater. The percentage of the yearly groundwater supply in the country is approximately 50% of the total water demand.

The other main sources are seawater desalination, treated wastewater and surface water. Desalinated water, nonetheless, accounts of 100% of municipal supply is making the UAE the only GCC state to have entirely moved away from utilizing groundwater for household supply.

In 2010, the UAE enhanced a national conservation plan, and, as part of this, banned the cultivation of water-intensive grass such as Rhodes grass. It is also endorsing water conservation techniques such as hydroponics.

Mohamed Dekkak