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Where does Dubai get its water from?

January 06, 2021
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Did you know that UAE holds the record for building the world’s largest water reservoir located in the Liwa Desert?

Dubai has achieved a high level of success in the last few years and the residents of Dubai have developed high and luxurious living standards. The fast-growing population and a large number of people moving to the city of Dubai to settle there and enjoy the luxuries it has to offer have given rise to the need for water. Let’s further explore where the desert city of Dubai gets its water from to provide to the fast-growing population.

What is the main source of water in the UAE?

Groundwater is the principal source of fresh water and it holds grave importance for UAE as it is used for rural and municipal supplies and irrigation of date palms etc. However, Groundwater in UAE is brackish which makes it not ideal for drinking purposes. Some recharge dams have been built aiming to stop floodwater from mixing with the seawater and to boost the amount of water in the aquifers. Hatta water dam is one of the famous dams located in the city of Dubai and its beautiful infrastructure has made it into a famous tourist spot also.

Groundwater

Groundwater is the principal source of fresh water and it holds grave importance for UAE as it is used for rural and municipal supplies and irrigation of date palms etc. However, Groundwater in UAE is brackish which makes it not ideal for drinking purposes. Some recharge dams have been built aiming to stop floodwater from mixing with the seawater and to boost the amount of water in the aquifers. Hatta water dam is one of the famous dams located in the city of Dubai and its beautiful infrastructure has made it into a famous tourist spot also.

Desalinated water

Did you know that after Saudi Arabia, UAE is the country to possess the highest desalination capacity worldwide?  UAE rely on desalinated seawater when it comes to drinking water and tap water used for domestic purposes. The desalination process takes place at the Dubai Electricity and water authority plants and the estimated yearly expense of water desalination is around 11.8 Dirham. The majority of the desalination plants utilize co-generation multistage flash technology or the multiple effect distillation and only two of the plants use reverse osmosis RO plants technology.

Surface water

Surface water refers to the water present in lakes, dams, minor streams, and floodwater. Due to the climate of Dubai, it is a challenge to collect a good amount of surface water as the country has very limited rainfall throughout the year and the floodwater also leaks into the ground. The country is in urgent need to find out the way to store surface water so that it can be utilized in time of need as the annual water consumption of UAE is increasing each year due to the growing population and boost in tourism.

Treated Wastewater

Another alternative to meet some of Dubai’s water needs is treated wastewater. The Government of Dubai has made sufficient investment in the wastewater treatment facilities along with the development of sewage networks to make sure that the country can utilize treated wastewater for landscaping of highways and irrigation of gardens.

Cloud Seeding

UAE has invested a large amount of money in Cloud seeding and artificial rainmaking. The purpose of cloud seeding is to raise the levels in aquifers and reservoirs and it is usually conducted over the eastern mountain ranges on the border connected with Oman. This technique of raising the water levels has proved to increase the precipitation levels of water and showed success in giving rise to creating rainstorms in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi desert areas.

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