, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1449-1463
Date: 24 Nov 2006

Comprehensive Assessment of Water Resources in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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Lack of sufficient quantities of water in the UAE is one of the major problems facing sustainable development. The arid climate of the country plays a significant role in the water resources availability. Rainfall, which is a main source of recharge for different water resources, such as surface water and groundwater, is scanty and extremely irregular in time and space. Evaporation, which reduces the amount of surface water, is high. Heavy pumping of groundwater has deteriorated groundwater levels. Desalination plants have been launched in different parts of the country to meet increasing water demands due to increasing population and economical development in the country. The continued reduction of water storage will hinder the development in the country. To avoid this problem, integrated water resources management (IWRM) strategy should be implemented. Searching for new non-conventional resources is also essential. This paper aims to assess the conventional and non-conventional water resources in the UAE and estimates the past and future water demands. In addition, this article focuses on future water strategy scenarios and plans.