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Newsletter 02/2015

Chairman's Message | Let it Rain, Let it Rain

 

Growing up on a farm in central NSW means I am used to low levels of rainfall, but not less than 100 millimetres a year, which is what the UAE has. You may have recently read about the launch of a $5 million competition to identify up to five research projects that will increase precipitation levels.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs are looking for methods more certain to produce results in an effort to boost rainfall and a prize of up to US$5 million (Dh18.3 million) is on offer to anyone who can make it rain.The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has also been reaching out to institutions and organisations to alert them to the programme, with some interest being shown from Australia.The need is urgent. With only a handful of rain showers every year, much of the country’s water is produced by desalination plants, with predictions that groundwater supplies will dry out in 15 years.

A recent study by UAE University in Al Ain revealed the water table level in some parts of the country had fallen by up to 60 metres. This water provides about half of the country’s needs, with most of it going on irrigation with agriculture as the biggest drain, using about 34 per cent of the total groundwater in the country.

I was speaking with ABCD member Barrie Harmsworth, Green Energy Solutions, who said the Gulf is a unique system and its natural water source is fed from the rain and snow in Iran and our biggest challenge is managing salinity.Let’s hope the competition will produce a winner with long term sustainability in mind.

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I look forward to seeing you at our events in March and April. To stay updated visit: www.abcduae.com

Penny Couchman

Chair, ABCD

chairman@abcduae.com

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