A government study: 2.5 billion dirhams to extend “desalinated water” networks to farms

1.2 billion gallons of daily groundwater consumption in the country

  • The study identified the main challenges in the agricultural sector.

    From the source

  • 3.5 Fils per gallon is the average cost of desalinated water in the country.

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A government study conducted by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure revealed that the average daily consumption was about 1.2 billion gallons of groundwater per day.

She said that the actual utilization rate of rainwater is less than 10%, compared to 90% of groundwater consumption, stressing that the main challenges facing the agricultural sector in the country are the increasing salinity of groundwater.

It also confirmed the allocation of approximately 2.5 billion dirhams to extend additional desalinated water networks to the network of the Union Electricity and Water Company, part of which is allocated to farm owners to reach desalinated water to their farms to dispense with internal desalination.

In detail, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure stated that it has started developing a water security strategy for the UAE, since 2015, commissioned by the Council of Ministers, in cooperation with ministries and other concerned parties, especially in light of environmental and geographical challenges related to the lack of rainfall, and the exposure of water security to a major depletion.

The ministry explained, in a parliamentary report presented to the Federal National Council, that it had conducted an extensive study on “the reality and future of the state’s water security,” in cooperation with specialists, and resulted in disturbing numbers, most notably that the daily consumption rate was about one billion and 200 gallons per day of groundwater, Pointing out that by comparing the amounts of rain that fall on the ground against what is drained by farms and different sectors of water, it is clear that the utilization rate of rainwater is less than 10%, compared to 90% of the depletion of groundwater reserves.

The ministry indicated that the study also monitored one of the main challenges in the agricultural sector, which is the increasing salinity of groundwater at very high levels, reaching half the salinity of sea water in some areas, due to the large ground depletion, stressing that this salinity resulted in greater consumption of electricity in the farms that I headed towards desalination on the farm itself, so there is a drain on electricity in these farms.

She stated that after the results of the study, an expanded working group was formed, in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and some relevant sectors and bodies in the country, to search for water alternatives for farmers, especially since preserving agriculture is very important for food security, and accordingly the Union Electric Company began And water in 2020 by contracting to purchase quantities of water from desalination plants, and these quantities, whether they were able to market them or not, became a financial commitment to buy them from the developers of the station, and after the Council of Ministers decided to focus subsidies on water, the Union Company offered farm owners a price similar to the price that is calculated on the citizen. In his home, which is (1.5) fils per gallon, despite the fact that the average cost of water in the country in terms of desalination is 3.5 fils per gallon, with the aim of providing arable water for farm owners, to obtain better and better crops and agricultural products, according to the assurances of the Ministry of Climate Change and environment.

She pointed out that approximately 2.5 billion dirhams are currently being invested, to extend additional networks to the network of the Union Electricity and Water Company, so that part of it is allocated to farm owners to reach desalinated water to their farms to dispense with internal desalination, especially in farms affected by water change, indicating that The idea of ​​the project comes from the government's strategic plans to enhance and sustain local production and optimize the use of desalinated water, in a way that enhances resource conservation and enhances the desired food security.

524 thousand acres of agricultural land

The report of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment determined the area of ​​land that is actually cultivated in the country at more than 524,000 dunums, while its production is more than one million tons of crops and agricultural products that include vegetables, fruits and field crops, pointing out that the crops grown in the country do not harm the soil. It is adapted to climatic conditions, and targeted and field guidance is provided to farmers, to ensure that their water consumption is within the recommended rates, in a manner that enhances productivity and is economically feasible.

The report added that the ministry is committed to providing production requirements to farmers, according to the best specifications and at half the value, as the agricultural production requirements that were distributed to farmers for the new agricultural season included 40 items, distributed among the main requirements, including fertilizers of various kinds (organic fertilizers and compound fertilizers used in hydroponics). fertilizers for organic crop farmers), in addition to seeds for the most important crops suitable for both protected and organic agriculture, such as sweet peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, organic cucumbers, organic peppers, and organic tomatoes, as well as integrated pest management supplies, such as colored sticky insect traps, and various Safe and low residual effect insecticides and fungicides.

• «Increasing salinity of groundwater is the most prominent challenge facing the agricultural sector in the country».


• “The crops grown in the country are adapted to climatic conditions and do not harm the soil.”


• «The Union Company offered farm owners a price similar to the price that is calculated on the citizen in his home».

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