A contract has been awarded for a Dh305 million desalination plant in Ras Al Khaimah, greatly boosting efforts to ensure reliable, clean water supplies in the Northern Emirates.
The plant, scheduled to come online in two years, is part of a multibillion-dirham water programme being carried out by the Federal Electricity and Water Authority.
The announcement comes as another plank of the programme, a new desalination plant in Ajman, is due to come online in three months.
“The authority allocated Dh15 billion to implementing a raft of new projects, developing existing plants and improving power and water supply in the Northern regions in the three years to come,” Abdul Rahim Ahmed, executive director of supply at Fewa, told The National’s Arabic-language sister newspaper Al Ittihad.
Mr Ahmed said the RAK plant would produce about 58 million litres of water a day when it came online.
The Dh190m Ajman plant will be the fourth in Al Zawra and is due to start operating in March.
When completed, the four will be able to meet the emirate’s water demand until 2020, Mr Ahmed said, with total capacity of about 60 million litres a day.
The projects will reduce the toll taken on the UAE’s groundwater resources, which have been tapped into extensively in the past few decades.
“By creating new water desalination plants the authority is preventing groundwater from being used up in the different regions,” Mr Ahmed said.
“We have successfully closed most of the wells, where water production is expected to stop mid-2014.”
Water in Umm Al Quwain will be of higher quality as a pipeline carrying desalinated water from a desalination plant in Fujairah starts up early next year.
The Northern Emirates’ water storage is also being boosted. Two reservoirs with capacity of about 4 million litres each have been installed Fujairah.
Two more, with a joint capacity of 30 million litres of water, will be built in Dadna and Al Badia on the east coast.
Fewa is engaged in an Emiratisation push, appointing 221 nationals of 750 who applied for jobs this year.
Ninety-seven have taken up their positions while 39 are still completing the required procedures.
Fewa will welcome more than 250 nationals at the Employment Forum, part of the Government’s Absher Initiative.
It has also contracted a private company to examine why nationals are refraining from working in the private sector, and develop incentives that will attract young nationals.