Water Resources, Uses, and Their Integrated Management in the United Arab Emirates

Ahmed Sefelnasr, Abdel Azim Ebraheem, Mohsen Sherif, Mohamed Al Mulla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its arid conditions. The entire region is mostly dry throughout the year, but surface water runoff may be generated during rainy seasons/days. Precipitation varies geographically, temporally, and seasonally. The demand for fresh water has increased with the remarkable economic development of the last 40 years, and the concomitant accelerating population growth, higher living standards, and expansion of the agricultural, forestry and industrial sectors. The burgeoning demand was initially met through pumping fresh, but nonrenewable, groundwater. Consequently, many of the country's aquifers have now been depleted to great depths and deterioration in water quality occurred in many places. To bridge the resulting supply gap there has been an enormous expansion of nonconventional water resources, particularly desalinated water. However, this has important implications for both energy supplies and environmental protection. In this study, an updated and integrated assessment of UAE's water resources and their use is presented, and it indicates a crucial need to identify options to improve the efficiency of water allocation and use, to reduce costs, and to enhance water security and protect surface water and groundwater resources. The current water resources management needs to be changed from the supply management option to the demand management option to decrease the severe water resources problems like groundwater depletion, saltwater intrusion, water table rise in urban areas. The possibility of the development of an integrated water resources management plan is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Drought Management, Volume 2
Subtitle of host publicationForecasting, Monitoring, and Managing Risk
PublisherCRC Press
Pages673-703
Number of pages31
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9781000905687
ISBN (Print)9781032231686
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Engineering

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