EAD gears up for global water summit
Dubai, January 8, 2013
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), the emirate's environmental regulator, will be heavily promoting the water sustainability message at the upcoming International Water Summit (IWS) in the UAE capital.
The groundwater in the UAE is largely a non-renewable resource, making its protection and conservation a vital undertaking, said a statement from EAD, which was established in 1996 to preserve Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage, protect future, and raise awareness about environmental issues.
The agency aims to raise awareness about its conservation efforts and regulatory role when it comes to conserving this precious resource and discuss potential cooperation opportunities with key global players to address this issue, it added.
EAD’s regulatory role in permitting and controlling the drilling of wells has contributed enormously to the conservation of Abu Dhabi’s groundwater, said the organisers of the IWS which will take place in Abu Dhabi from Januaray 15 to 17.
The keynote speech by Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD secretary general, on January 16 will set the tone for action on water scarcity in arid regions, and provide inspiration for the government delegations, policymakers, scientists and business leaders attending this global event.
The speech by Al Mubarak marks the start of a major contribution by EAD to heavily promote the water sustainability message. EAD’s stand at the IWS Exhibition will feature exciting elements such as:
•An on-site programme featuring presentations by EAD experts on the status of groundwater
•A downloading station where people can download strategies and documents related to water resources
•An ‘UAE Native Plants’ wall promoting the country's salt-tolerant flora
A prominent feature of its stand will be a ‘Groundwater through the Years’ timeline which will take visitors on a journey to see how Abu Dhabi has worked to preserve its groundwater over the years and the exciting initiatives that lie ahead.
Also, a solar desalination unit model will be on display in the Rural Community section of the Sustainable Solutions Village.
Dr Mohamed Yousef Al Madfaei, EAD’s executive director, Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector said: "The greatest challenge we are facing when it comes to water supply is the nature of the UAE’s climate, which is known to be arid. Also, with increasing developmental pressures, the demand for water is rising."
Over the years, we have adopted a comprehensive management plan that has been aimed at the optimization of groundwater use through careful planning, management and regulation, he stated.
"These efforts have given us a unique insight into the water scarcity issues the emirate is facing today. EAD's presence at IWS will see subject experts lead facilitated workshops and join panel discussions to share the knowledge we have developed over time," Dr Al Madfaei noted.
“IWS is a very important forum that we feel will help us address a key global issue –mitigating water scarcity for future generations. We are looking forward to playing an active role to showcase our efforts in this area and to discuss potential cooperation opportunities with our global peers to address this issue,” he added.
Peter McConnell, the show director, said EAD’s outstanding achievements in innovation and raising awareness about water sustainability will be reflected by their powerful participation at the summit.
“EAD has, for many years, taken the lead to address the urgent need to use water more efficiently, through their public education campaigns, their vital collaborations and their pioneering initiatives, noted McConnell.
"Having the IWS in its home city allows the world to see the remarkable work EAD is doing, and their vast knowledge of this arid region will be eagerly sought by countries with similar issues. We are delighted EAD has chosen to endorse IWS,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service