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The Water Challenge in the UAE

Published on: July 2012​
Genre: Dubai Model|Strategy and Development​ Category: Policy Brief/ Policy Note​
By Sylvia Szabo

Since the discovery of oil in the United Arab Emirates, the country’s population has risen constantly. This has put considerable pressure on the natural resources and the infrastructure of the country, which has had to provide water, food and facilities for millions of new residents. This policy brief focuses on one natural resource in particular—water. The paper explores how economic boom and population growth triggered increased demand for water, and considers the question of whether population growth necessarily implies water shortages. The issues of water stress and water crisis at both the global and UAE levels are discussed. The paper also highlights the main challenges faced by the UAE in the water sector, and describes the remedies already being applied by the Government in order to tackle the water shortage. Finally, the brief provides several concrete policy suggestions on how to optimize water use.

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