In September 2017, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure unveiled the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036, which aims to ensure sustainable access to water during both normal and emergency conditions in line with local regulations, standards of the World Health Organisation, and the UAE’s vision to achieve prosperity and sustainability.
The overall objectives of the strategy are to reduce total demand for water resources by 21 percent, increase the water productivity index to USD 110 per cubic meter, reduce the water scarcity index by three degrees, increase the reuse of treated water to 95 percent and increase national water storage capacity up to two days.
The strategy focuses on three main programmes: the Water Demand Management Programme, the Water Supply Management Programme and the Emergency Production and Distribution Programme. The strategy also tackles policy development, legislation, water conservation awareness campaigns, use of advanced technologies, innovation and building national capabilities in the field of water security.
The Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to reduce average consumption per capita by half as well as focus on sustainable practices. The strategy seeks to develop a storage capacity for the water supply system that lasts for two days under normal conditions, which would be equivalent to a capacity of 16 days in emergencies and enough to supply water for more than 45 days in extreme emergencies.
The strategy also includes the establishment of 6 connecting networks between water and electricity entities across the UAE. Water networks will be able to provide 91 litres of water per person per day in cases of emergency, or 30 litres per person per day in cases of extreme emergencies. Once implemented, the Water Security Strategy 2036 will achieve savings of AED 74 billion and reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), associated with water desalination process, by 100 million metric tons.