The UAE has limited natural water resources and as such faces several water management challenges. With one of the highest per capita water consumption rates in the world, UAE faces significant pressure to meet the growing demands for water. The government has been taking up various measures and strategies to reduce the usage of water and educate people about the importance of water.
The Ministry of Energy & Industry unveiled the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 in the year 2017, with the objective to ensure sustainable access to water during both normal and emergency conditions in line with local regulations, standards of the World Health Organisation, and the UAE’s vision to achieve prosperity and sustainability.
The objectives of the strategy include;
- Reducing the demand for water
- Increasing water productivity index
- Reducing water scarcity index
- Increasing the reuse of treated water
- Increasing national water storage capacity
The strategy focuses on the Water Demand Management Programme, the Water Supply Management Programme and the Emergency Production and Distribution Programme. The strategy also tackles policy development, legislation, water conservation awareness campaigns, use of advanced technologies, innovation and building national capabilities in the field of water security.
Developing storage capacity for the water supply system that will stay for a period of two days under normal conditions is one among the agenda of the strategy. The storage capacity will be equivalent to a capacity of 16 days in emergencies and can supply water for more than 45 days in extreme emergencies.
The strategy also plans to establish 6 connecting networks between water and electricity entities across the UAE, that will have the capacity to provide 91 litres of water per person per day in cases of emergency, or 30 litres per person per day in cases of extreme emergencies.
A savings of 74 billion AED is expected once the strategy gets implemented. The emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with water desalination process will reduce by 100 million metric tons.