UAE bans export of groundwater
Fears over declining water levels leads to export ban
The UAE has banned the export of groundwater outside of the Gulf state amid declining levels of water, it has been announced.
The Ministerial Council for Services on Monday approved the ban following the details of a report by the Ministry of Environment and Water, which estimates fresh water reserves will have depleted within the next five decades, state news agency WAM said in a statement.
The UAE, home to seven percent of the world's known oil reserves, is among the top per capita consumers of water in the world. Abu Dhabi consumes 550 litres of water per person per day, an official from the emirate's Environment Agency said last year, compared to a world average of 180-200 litres.
“Wars can erupt because of water,” Mohammed Khalfan al Rumaithi, director general of the UAE's National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority, warned earlier in February.
“Using groundwater for agriculture is risky. If it doesn't harm us it will harm other generations," he told the Federal National Council.
Abu Dhabi in October launched a pilot for a $436m underground reservoir, with 26 million cubic metres of desalinated water.