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Climate crisis won’t spare even water-rich regions: UAE minister

Abu Dhabi - 'To address water stress, we’re following an integrated water management approach'



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 11:54 PM

Climate change would not only aggravate the situation in currently water-stressed regions — the crisis would also be felt even in areas that have sufficient water resources, according to Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

“In addition to the depletion of groundwater, land degradation and desertification, and an increase in water consumption due to rising temperatures, climate change poses risks to water-related infrastructure,” he said.

The minister was speaking about the correlation between climate change and water stress during a session at the fifth International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF) in the UAE on Monday.

He said: “To address water stress, we’re following an integrated water management approach. We’ve adopted the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 that aims to ensure continued and sustainable access to water. We’re also implementing initiatives to reduce water losses and consumption. In addition to the introduction of green building and product standards, building retrofit initiatives, and water tariff reforms, the government authorities have been running awareness campaigns to promote behavioural change.”

Lining up prominent experts in rain enhancement science and technology, the two-day event is hosted by the National Centre of Meteorology through the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement (UAEREP). The session, titled ‘Outlook for Global Water Security in the Light of Climate Change’, examined changes to global climate in recent decades with a focus on the Arabian Gulf region, one of the most water-stressed parts of the world.

The participants also discussed the issue of addressing water scarcity through renewable water resources, how climate change is contributing to the crisis, as well as the growing imbalances between water supply and demand.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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