7 May 2022
The UAE is developing three new water desalination projects in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Umm Al Quwain, with a combined capacity of 420 million gallons of water per day, to help boost sustainability and achieve water security goals.
Once commissioned in 2023, the projects will increase the installed water desalination capacity of the Arab world’s second-largest economy to 1,590 million gallons per day and will help the country overcome the challenges of water scarcity in future under its UAE Water Security Strategy 2036.
According to Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, the water sector “is of vital importance to sustainable development, and a factor central to achieving the social, economic and environmental goals and objectives associated with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”.
Food and water security are among the top priorities for UAE government. The region heavily relies on the food imports and depends on desalination for the bulk of its potable water needs.
The UAE launched its 2036 water security strategy in 2017, which is focused on the entire UAE’s water supply chain with a priority for strategic production of water resources, storage, transport networks and interconnectivity among the seven emirates.It focuses on ensuing sustainable access to water during both normal and emergency conditions in line with World Health Organisation standards.
The strategy aims to reduce total demand for water resources by 21%, boost the water productivity index to $110 per cubic meter, reduce the water scarcity index by three degrees, increase the reuse of treated water to 95% and increase national water storage capacity by up to two days.
As well as desalination, the UAE is looking at other greener options such as atmospheric water generation(AWG), to supplement clean drinking water in homes and institutions. AWG technology, which produces drinking water directly from air by condensing the water molecules below dew point, is being increasingly used in arid environments.
The water-related challenges will become tougher in light of the growing demand for water and the scarcity of resources, especially in the Arab region in the coming years.The worsening global climate change and the increase in future demand for water have forced the UAE to undertake more initiatives, dialogue, reflection and joint work to build future capabilities to meet thee challenges and overcome them.
The UAE is committed to enhance regional and international co-operation in water-related activities and programmes.