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by | 04-05-2017 03:32 recommendations 2

Water is the key requirement for sustainable development and therefore one of the most pressing issues for the future of mankind. Without water our supermarket shelves would be empty. We would have no cars or computers, no medicines or plastics, no paper in the office and nothing to wear. There would be no electricity from power points and no toothpaste from the tube.

Water is the lubricant for all industrial production. Water is used in the manufacture of thousands of chemicals, to process food, to clean surfaces, to extract metals and ores from the soil and to generate electricity. No matter whether water is used for washing, drinking or as a solvent and process water in industry, sooner or later it becomes wastewater.

Our precious fresh water is fast becoming a depleting resource across the globe, and is even becoming more scarce in the vast desert regions of the World, including those within the U.A.E. Fresh water consumption per capita is the highest in the UAE, with average per capita consumption of 500 litres a day, around 82 per cent above the global average when compared to other countries of the world.

 According to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, 72 per cent of water used in the UAE comes from groundwater, 21 per cent comes from desalination and only 7 per cent is treated water.

Furthermore, according to experts treated water is often left unused and dumped.

The UAE is listed by the United Nations as a high-rank country when it comes to water stress, a situation which occurs when the availability of water is not in balance with the demand for water. 

The luxury lifestyle and lack of conservation measures amongst residents has resulted in high levels of water usage and waste. High water consumption per capita also equates to a high production of waste water in the UAE. Some of this waste water is converted into grey water and primarily used for irrigation of landscaped areas throughout the city. But not enough of the waste water is being converted for reuse, and additional uses and distribution of recycled waste water need to be implemented.

Desalination was the first major technological innovation that allowed the UAE to overcome its freshwater resource scarcity to achieve greater quality of life but water consumption is also closely associated with the energy consumption that it takes to desalinate large amounts of water on a daily basis.

Treating wastewater for limited use – like agriculture and cooling – in place of desalinated water could provide energy and cost savings. Already, Abu Dhabi recycles some of its municipal wastewater, with roughly 60 percent of the treated municipal wastewater being reutilized for landscape irrigation. But due to limited irrigation distribution networks, the remainder is discharged to the Gulf. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology of Abu Dhabi is working on an innovative breakthrough that will dynamically improve the UAE's water security in the form of wastewater treatment.

 The UAE government runs a media campaign on regular basis to encourage people to save water.  It has also distributed water-saving toilets and showerheads free of charge. The emirate also is in the process of expanding the use of reclaimed water.

The engineering field of water and waste water management and good design practices can immensely reduce consumption of potable water and recycle more waste water to help close the loop of the water cycle that all humanity and indeed all living things on this earth rely on. The use  of treated municipal wastewater to irrigate edible crops is an example of the integrated thinking of UAE to enhance food and water security while reducing energy consumption. -Emirates News Agency, WAM – 

emirates247.com, mecsd.com



desalination process

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  • Dormant user


  • says :
    thanks for sharing
    Posted 06-02-2018 22:11

  • says :
    good report
    Posted 06-02-2018 22:10

Aaditya Singh

  • Aaditya Singh says :
    Thanks Manav for your report. UAE has a high water footprint and we must all work to reduce it.
    Posted 14-05-2017 04:49

  • says :
    Hi Manav, thank you for your report. It's very interesting. For the water reclaimed, I would to know how often can we reclaim the water safely?
    Posted 11-05-2017 04:22

  • says :
    Hello Manav! Thanks for sharing water pollution & scarcity issue in UAE.
    Since UAE is grounded in harsh natural and geographical condition, water must be more critical issue in your country.
    Regarding the desalination technique, i heard that desalination costs exceeds its benefit in most of the countries. Is the situation different in UAE? Thanks again for sharing!
    Posted 06-05-2017 21:49

  • says :
    Thanks Cheonghan and Anudeep for your valuable comments. Inspite of geographical challenges, UAE has always been foremost in its effort to give sustainable living to its residents.
    Besides Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Marine Environment Research Center, Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) are some of the famous research centres in UAE.
    The picture at the bottom is a google image.
    Posted 05-05-2017 20:49

  • T Anudeep Reddy says :
    Hi Manav, I have read a lot about U.A.E especially Dubai regarding usage of enormous water for landscaping. Also, Masdar Institute has been active organizing international conferences and taking up research activities to protect environment and promote sustainability. I wish to know if any other private institutes or research centers are also working towards environment in U.A.E.
    Posted 04-05-2017 18:50

  • says :
    Manav, thank you for your report. It sounds amazing that UAE has a wonderful desalination technique. I wish you could tell us more about it. UAE seems to be putting on a high effort to deal with water pollution. I like the picture at the bottom. Could you write the source of the picture?
    Posted 04-05-2017 10:02

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