In my last post I described how I had discovered the remains of a defunct development known as the ‘Arabian Canal’ in the desert some 30km outside Dubai. This time I’m featuring one of these remaining waterways which is still, mysteriously, flooded, despite having been abandoned some 4 years ago.
I can only speculate about the science that keeps the excavation full of water, but presumably it has breached the local water table or a desert aquifer. Whether this aquifer can sustain a supply of water to the excavation indefinitely, or evaporation from the lake will eventually deplete the aquifer, I can also only guess.
While visiting this spot I sighted Red Fox and Mountain Gazelle, as well as a number of bird and reptile species. As typically happens in the desert around Dubai, when an area is fenced off and protected from ‘dune bashers’ the wildlife rapidly recovers, even without a limitless water supply as in this instance.
Considering Dubai’s recent economic recovery and renewed commitment to exponential growth as it’s business model we begin to wonder which of it’s defunct developments may be restarted. Personally, I hope this particular one remains as an abandoned desert lake and is allowed to continue to become an oasis for wildlife. Assuming it stays wet!
You can see this lake on Google Earth at 24°50’33.92″N 55°10’24.25″E
Note from the editor: this photograph is part of a series called “Consumption” that seeks to document consumerism’s impact on the environment. From resource extraction and commodity production all the way down the supply chain to retail stores and waste processing facilities, Richard artfully examines what nature has come to mean in a world that depends on buying stuff.