Thirsty Gulf Country Quits Exports of Precious Groundwater

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emriates, water issues, desert, drought, desalination, water conservation, water saving tips, Dubai

Abu Dhabi will no longer be sharing their precious groundwater.

Dubai’s water scarce neighbor Abu Dhabi recently announced that it has banned all groundwater exports, Gulf News reports. Established yesterday at a Ministerial Service Council meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ban will keep the Emirate’s dwindling groundwater supply within its own borders. 

Water is more important than oil

Last year General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, proclaimed that water is more important than oil, even though the country relies on this fossil fuel as a main source of income.

He added that water research, action plans, and solutions should be placed at the top of the nation’s priorities.

The Ministry of Environment and Water subsequently compiled a study of the Emirates water sources, which prompted the Federal National Council (FNC) to propose a ban. It was upon this recommendation that the Council cancelled all future groundwater exports. This ministry will also be responsible for framing the necessary legal matters.

Drought dries up wells

Abu Dhabi’s rainfall is limited to 100mm per year, according to 2006 statistics listed by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, and only C .4% of the annual amount of groundwater used is replenished.

All other water comes from five main desalination plants along the Gulf coastline, including at Mirfa, Abu Dhabi, Um al Naar and Taweelah and one on the Gulf of Oman at Qidfa, Fujairah, and 23 sewage treatment plants.

Gulf News reports that prolonged drought has put 13,000 wells in the country at risk of drying up completely.

For a list of simple ways to conserve water in Abu Dhabi, visit the Ministry of Environment and Water’s website, which lists important ways to save water in the house, in the garden, and outside the home.

:: Gulf News

image via Morguefile

More on water issues in Abu Dhabi and other Gulf Countries:

Feeding Abu Dhabi With Water From Air

What Abu Dhabi Plans for When the Water Runs Out

Abu Dhabi’s Costly Desalination Prompts Wastewater Treatment Plans

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