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					Global Youth Minster 2011
Position paper
Country: United Arab Emirates
Topic: Crisis in Water Resource

Water has always been a very scarce resource in UAE. Located in desert, UAE has
very little natural water source1as no major rivers or lakes can be found in the country.
Since UAE gained its independence, its population has grown from 0.2 million to
over 4.7 million now, and the growth is continuing2. Together with the rapid
development of economy and enhancement in quality of life, UAE is facing a constant
increase in water demand. Ensuring a stable and reliable supply of water has become
one of the major tasks of our country.

In 2000, the total freshwater withdrawal is 2.3 cubic kilometer, while the consumption
per capita is 511 cubic kilometer, reflecting that UAE’s level on the infrastructure of
water supply and sanitation are high. The three main usages of water, namely
domestic, industrial and agricultural, account for 23%, 9% and 68% of the total
consumption respectively.

UAE has done a lot to satisfy the need of water. Desalination of seawater is a major
source of water in UAE. A number of desalination plants have been built around the
country. In 2010 there were eight seawater desalination plants in Abu Dhabi Emirate
owned and operated by eight joint ventures. In large cities like the capital, Abu Dhabi,
the drinking water supply almost entirely comes from desalinated seawater. There are
also some underground water sources for agriculture. In addition, UAE is building a
lot of dams for ground water recharge in order to maximize the usage of our water
resources3. Furthermore, sewage is treated and reused for the irrigation of green

In legal level, the Ministry of Environment and Water, under the federal government,
is responsible for the sustainability of water resources. The ministry proposes and
executes federal laws to protect the country's water resources in a bid to meet the
future water demand.

  UN population stat
The delegates of UAE strongly believe that the problem of water crisis can be solved
by diplomatic means. As said by Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, the Minister of
Environment & Water that the aim of protecting and managing water resource can be
fulfilled “through coping with the latest developments and the active participation in
the international conferences, agreements and conventions just as it seeks to realize
integration with various categories of society.”4 UAE supports the research and
exchange of water management technology among countries. With the advancement
in water management technology, countries can increase supply and quality of water
and enhance the water treatment process. Sewage may also be reused for irrigation or
other usage after treatment. This will be an effective approach to solve the problem of
water crisis.

It is sure that the shortage of water will have negative impact on world’s economic
growth and lower the living standard of the people. Actions must be taken in order to
solve the problem of water crisis. UAE will actively participate in the discussion of
the problem and offer its support to the solution of the problem to best benefit the
global community.


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