Desalinate water to quench thirst : UAE Minister

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Dubai, Oct 27 (UNI) The UAE will overcome the problem of shortage of water by setting up a network of desalination and sewage plants, the gulf nation's minister said.

Speaking at the World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse in the Canary islands, the UAE Minister of Environment and Water Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi highlighted the need to produce high quality treated waste water to reduce the pressure on ground and desalinated water.

The Minister said the UAE is one of the world's largest producers of desalinated water with a production estimated to be over 950 million cubic metres annually, and will continue to build new desalination plants to meet the growing demand.

The research is needed to develop more environmentally friendly desalination plants, where proper disposal of concentrate should be taken care of to avoid harming the ecosystems, especially marine environments, he added.

''Statistics show that more than 7,500 desalination plants are in operation worldwide, and 60 per cent of them are located in the West Asia, particularly in the Gulf countries . This century will witness a greater emphasis on desalinated water and reuse of water in order to meet the increasing global demand,'' he was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

Quantities of treated waste water have exceeded 338 million cubic metres annually, and more than 248 million cubic metres of reclaimed water from waste water treatment plants are reused mainly for landscape irrigation which is also increasing annually.

Al Kindi said the increased demand from irrigation has resulted in over-extraction of groundwater, leading to a rapid fall in the water table, which adversely affected the groundwater by increasing the salinity of the water.

UNI

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