Environment Agency researching water consumption by palm trees
The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi is researching the amount of water consumed by palm trees in order to promote resource conservation and create guidelines for farmers.
Scientists initiated the project in the Western Region by conducting experiments on a natural preserve of palms near Madinat Zayed.
The head engineer for the project, Wafaa Al Yamani, said the project was timed to coincide with the Liwa Festival to garner attention to the over-watering of palm trees.
“We will be monitoring the rates of use of irrigation water and using smart water meters, which in turn will provide the wildlife management agencies and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi information on the amount of water used by palm trees,” said Ms Al Yamani, an Emirati.
Through empirical research, the end result is to establish the amount of water needed by palm trees hourly and at varying temperatures.
Scientists will also test soil salinity levels and water balance.
The research model conducted on palm trees, said Ms Al Yamani, will also be used to study other native plants in the region.
They will also pay special attention to the different outcomes among palm trees receiving desalinated water and those given natural groundwater.
“This study will allow us to closely monitor underground water used to irrigate the forest as well as a treated sewage water used,” she said.
By noting the amount of water that the natural preserve consumes, scientists will be able to achieve their goal of reducing water consumption by 80 per cent by 2030.
Updated: July 27, 2015 04:00 AM