x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Debate rages on how to increase lifespan of Abu Dhabi's water

Panellists discuss how ground water should be managed and protected for future generations.

ABU DHABI // With water use in the emirate expected to increase by 30 per cent before 2030, a panel discussion yesterday debated the future of extracting ground water.

The discussion, held to coincide with World Water Day last Friday and titled The Status of Groundwater in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, was organised by Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (Ead) and the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.

Panellists discussed how ground water delivered about 63 per cent of the emirate's water and how it is a resource that should be managed and protected for future generations.

Despite having one of the highest water-scarcity indexes in the world, Abu Dhabi also has one of the highest per capita water use rates - more than triple the world average.

"If we go as usual [in the use of water], the water will be affected within 50 years, but now we are trying to increase the lifetime of the ground water," said Dr Mohamed Dawoud, manager of the water resources department at Ead.

Dr Khalil Ahmed Ammar, a water management scientist at the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, called for the integrated planning of water resources in the emirate.