The two desalination plants in Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman are important projects to improve life in the Northern Emirates and provide those areas with reliable, clean water supplies. As The National reported yesterday, a new Dh305m desalination plant in Ras al Khaimah is scheduled to be operational in the two years; and another Dh190m desalination plant will come online in three months in Ajman, increasing the number of plants in Al Zawra to four, which all will be able to produce about 60 million litres a day, covering the emirate’s water demands until 2020.
These projects are being launched just at the right time. The growing population and the steadily increasing urbanisation in the Northern Emirates have increased demands on energy and water rapidly. In addition to that, as the industrial sector has expanded over recent years, demands for energy and water has grown even more. As a result, these emirates have experienced occasional power outages and water shortages. This has been more of an issue in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, as it is home for many energy-intensive manufacturing companies and other industrial establishments that could suffer tremendously from any lack of water sufficiency or power cut.
But the situation is about to improve, as the Northern Emirates’ water storage and desalination are being boosted by the federal government. In addition to these two projects, two reservoirs with capacity of about four million litres each have been installed in Fujairah and two more, with a joint capacity of 30 million litres of water, will be built in Dadna and Al Badia on the east coast.
The UAE has a reputation for building the biggest and best – malls, skyscrapers, public events. Yet such less glamorous energy and water projects are equally important to provide for the basic needs that steadily increase with more development and urbanisation.
Since the President, Sheikh Khalifa, announced in 2011 that the federal government would invest Dh5.7bn in power and water infrastructure projects across the Northern Emirates, many development projects have been launched and many of them have been completed, remarkably enhancing the region’s services and basic infrastructure. This year alone, 24 ports, three main highways, two major hospitals and more than 2,000 housing projects have been completed in the Northern Emirates. And yet, this is only the beginning of many other projects to come, indicating that the UAE is moving in the right direction to standardise public facilities across the nation. This shows that even as the country builds upwards and outwards, the basics are not forgotten.