World Water Day
Statement by HE Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri
Acting General Secretary, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi
21 March 2019
Every year, World Water Day shines the spotlight on the importance of water and the critical need to conserve it. For the unique arid desert environment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the significance of this essential natural resource cannot be overstated. As our nation continues to progress and prosper, our demand for continuous supply of safe and clean water is intensifying – placing an even greater need to preserve and protect our precious water resources.
The Government of Abu Dhabi has placed a special emphasis on the preservation of our groundwater reserves, which account for nearly 65 per cent of the water consumption in the emirate. Just earlier this year, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) launched the results of the first Groundwater Wells Inventory project, as well as the first-of-its-kind Groundwater Atlas, which will allow decision-makers to develop integrated plans that promote the sustainable and efficient management of this important resource. The project recorded over 100 measurement parameters of over 118,000 wells in Abu Dhabi that will help track and analyse the status, levels and uses of groundwater reserves in the emirate.
EAD was also instrumental in the development of the Liwa Strategic Water Reserve – the world’s largest reserve of high-quality desalinated water – by delivering scientific studies, feasibility and risk analyses, mitigation scenarios and strategic planning required for its completion.
The Agency is also guided by the nation’s Water Security Strategy 2036, that also advocates for the responsible and efficient usage of our water resources. Abu Dhabi has one of the highest rates of per capita water in the world – 560 litres per day – so we all must take serious strides to achieve more sustainable water consumption levels. This can only be done in collaboration with our entire community – let us make meaningful changes today to ensure that we are able to benefit from this vital resource well into the future.