The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has developed a strategic plan for the management of the Emirate’s water resources to combat the threat of severe shortages in future, delegates at the Agribusiness Outlook Forum in Dubai were told today.
The master plan calls for the adoption of stringent eco-friendly measures to increase water production in Abu Dhabi and urges government implementation of water policies to reduce wastage.
Dr. Mohamed Dawoud, EAD’s Water Resources Manager, said Abu Dhabi has one of the highest per capita water consumptions in the world, with an average consumption of 550 litres of water per person per day.
“This consumption, combined with the predicted population growth in Abu Dhabi to 3.5 million in 2030, means we could face severe water shortages in the future, and need to rethink about water usage efficiency now,” said Dr. Dawoud.
“The Emirate has witnessed rapid development in the last four decades, resulting in immense pressure on water usage,” he added. “This master plan is an initiative that seeks to implement measures for limiting depletion of natural resources, and at the same time increase water usage efficiency in different sectors, including the agricultural sector.”
“Governments are making efforts to improve water usage efficiency in agriculture through four main pillars - policy and strategy, technologies, legislations and regulations, and education and awareness - to increase the economic value of water and efficient use by farm owners,” he said.
Dr. Dawoud was addressing delegates on the Abu Dhabi government’s approach for improving water use in agriculture and the role of the 2030 Master Plan at the Agribusiness Outlook Forum. The forum is a feature of the AGRA and VET Middle East exhibitions at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition centre, which concludes tomorrow (Wednesday).
He said investment in the latest agricultural technologies and automated irrigation methods, such greenhouses using hydroponic systems, can save up to 40 per cent of water in agriculture, and deliver healthier produce.
“The 2030 master plan was developed with the intention of achieving sustainable utilisation of water resources in an eco friendly way, thereby enhancing sustainable development of Abu Dhabi,” said Dr. Dawoud.
Richard Pavitt, Exhibition Director of AGRA Middle East, and VET Middle East, said: “The 2030 master plan provides an interesting insight into the current water scenario in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and addresses important issues of water supply and also underlines efficient water usage techniques.”
Held under the patronage of His Excellency Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, AGRA Middle East is supported by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Flower Centre, and the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech). VET Middle East is officially supported by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, with scientific support coming from CVR Laboratories.