Water resource management towards a sustainable water budget in the United Arab Emirates
Paleologos, Evan K.
Al Nahyan, M T
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Water in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is scarce and in addition to its life-sustaining role it is a limiting economic resource for the country. The current article presents a comprehensive study of the water resources of the UAE and analyses the water usage in the different economic sectors in order to provide suggestions for a sustainable water budget. We highlight the relation between Ophiolitic formations and the potential of natural groundwater contamination from hexavalent chromium, as well as the potential for offshore fresh water exploration below the Arabian Gulf seabed. The water flows in the various economic sectors of the UAE are analysed and compared to other countries in the region, the desert Southwestern states of USA and to EU countries in order to identify those sectors of the economy where the introduction of best practices and efficient water technologies can be of maximum impact. Given the scarcity of water the water budget of the country needs to be curtailed by at least a half to allow for expansion of industrial activities.