Dams need maintenance before rainy season

DUBAI - Dams across the UAE are under pressure from record rainfalls over the past two years and may require maintenance ahead of the rainy season.

By (By a staff reporter)

Published: Thu 7 Aug 2008, 12:19 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:00 PM

The Minister of Environment and Water, Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, carried out inspections of the dams on Monday to assess their maintenance needs before winter which usually brings heavy rains.

Record rainfall in January this year, combined with Cyclone Gonu in June 2007, and high rainfall in December of 2006, have led to unprecedented pressure on the dams.

The ministry supervises 84 dams all over the UAE, which protect surrounding areas from floods and preserve water resources as well as discharge excess water in a controlled way.

Bin Fahad visited Wadi Ashwani dam built in 2001 in the central region, where maintenance work is currently being carried out to clean the dam's lake and remove silt and stones to increase its capacity.

Safani and Al Siji dams were visited, which are supply dams in the central region, Shoka dam, which is a storage dam that was built to protect the surrounding area from floods and provide water.

There are two storage dams in the region, while the rest are supply dams, which have groundwater supplies.

Al Dhaid particularly suffers from heavy exhaustion of groundwater resulting from heavy pumping of groundwater, which affects water levels and agricultural activities.

Bin Fahad also inspected measuring water wells used by the ministry to monitor groundwater levels in different areas. These levels are measured monthly and the readings are entered into the ministry's database.

In 2006 up to 21 million cubic metres of rainwater collected in two weeks in December, the highest recorded rainfall for December in ten years, according to the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The reservoirs of more than 50 dams, mainly in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, were filled to the brim over the two-week period, with some being emptied at least once before they were filled up again with rainwater from wadis.


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