In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) listed ‘Water Crises’ as one of top 10 global risks to impact the world. Water security concerns are particularly acute in the UAE as the country is located in one of the most water scarce regions of the world. In line with the UAE Vision 2021 and SDG 6, the Ministry of Energy and Industry (MOEI) developed the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 with the overarching objective of setting a roadmap to achieve water security. The strategy was developed in collaboration with more than 30 entities in the water sector and built on a large repertoire of previous studies and references. The aim of the strategy is to enhance water security planning and risk management, through tools such as the national water risk register, an integrated hydraulic water network model and an emergency impact simulator.
Policies and Initiatives
- The UAE energy and water demand-side management program 2050, launched in 2018, will set the action plan required to reach national targets for energy and water demand reduction and efficiency improvements
- The Water Security Strategy 2036, launched in 2018, is considered the first unified water security strategy in the country.
- The UAE faces water related challenges such as the scarcity of fresh natural water resources, the depletion of groundwater, the high demand for water, the high water losses from water distribution networks and the low irrigation efficiency, and limited utilization of available treated wastewater
- The water system lacks the resilience to deal with emergencies. In addition, desalination plants result in a high carbon footprint
- Data collection and reporting are a challenge, as a result MOEI has launched the data management and automation platform ATMATA, which uses digital platforms for water data collection and management.