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Water, water… not everywhere

Water, water… not everywhere

They say that one day we’ll be fighting wars over it; for now we just need to manage it better. Kipp takes a closer look at water preservation and management in the UAE.

October 18, 2010 1:21 by

The process of aquifer recharge involves pumping desalinated water underground where the water reacts with the earth to form a buffer zone which will help protect the water supply to remain uncontaminated. Essentially the pre-existing aquifers, which are 60 to 900 meters deep underground, acts like a tank , but its location underground means it is protected from evaporation and potential security risks.

As long as the area above the underground aquifer remains unpolluted, experts say the process is a worthwhile investment. “The water injected in the aquifers does not need to be replaced frequently. Even if the water is kept for a thousand years, its quality will not be affected,” Dr George Koziorowski, Chief Hydrologist at gtz International Services, told Gulf News during a field trip to the Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project site in Liwa.

Sharjah’s less expensive initiative

The strain of the expenses related to the desalination process has already begun to show in one of UAE’s less rich emirates. In the National, Analysts say that the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) has “few resources to build desalination plants and is anxious to protect remaining groundwater.”  As such the emirate has been working towards reducing water consumption, most notably during the last two years. For one thing, the Emirate installed grey water recycling systems in 170 large commercial buildings, mosques and institutions since last year. Grey water recycling filters waste water from washing machines and sinks and uses it for non-drinkable usage like flushing toilets. Abu Dhabi is said to be considering similar recycling methods. In addition to the SEWA installed water-saving fixtures in 3,000 apartments and villas and digital water meters for 20,000 customers.

Seemingly trivial steps, but they may prove vital in the long run.

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