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Abu Dhabi aims to save underground water resources

Water scarcity remains Abu Dhabi’s major utility challenge despite existing efforts to successfully manage groundwater resources

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 Abu Dhabi is exploring new technologies, while calling for robust government policies to guarantee effective management of its groundwater resources, said a senior government official.
The Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) is already looking at technologies from around the world that can address the Emirate's specific needs for the efficient management and conservation of groundwater resources.
“New solutions must come through public policies that enable behavioural, structural and technological changes to save water," Shaikha Al Mazrouei, acting executive director of Integrated Environment Policy and Planning at Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), at a workshop hosted by EAD.
Water scarcity remains Abu Dhabi’s major utility challenge despite existing efforts to successfully manage groundwater resources
Five different technologies identified by EAD were presented during the workshop to policy makers, professionals and academics with a particular focus in water servicing for the agricultural, industrial and residential sectors in Abu Dhabi, reported Khaleej Times.
EAD has been working on a water budget plan that will essentially decrease water consumption in the emirate, despite expecting substantial increase in demand due to increased growth in population and businesses.
At 600 litres per person per day, UAE remains the world's highest water consumer with over two trillion litres of water extracted daily from underground resources used for agriculture and forestry irrigation.
Without enough rainfall to replenish the natural ground water reserves, the underground sources are drying up fast, while water quality gets compromised the more is it is pumped out of the ground.
While desalination would appear an easier solution, EAD is against more desalination plants as they are heavy consumers of energy and increase the already very high salinity levels in the Arabian Sea, that pose a threat to corals and marine life.
EAD believes that the way forward is better management of water usage, zero waste, new technologies for irrigation and agriculture that minimise water consumption by making use of recycled water.
By 2018, EAD expects to recycle all of Abu Dhabi’s treated wastewater, mostly for agriculture and forestry, thus reducing the need for desalination and ground water.

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