Water security integral part of development drive: Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

DUBAI, 22nd March, 2022 (WAM) -- Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, articulated the importance of taking urgent and effective steps to ensure sustainable water management, noting that water security a top priority for the UAE government and an integral part of the development drive.

The minister made the remarks during his inaugural speech of the Water Forum, held as part of the Water Week at Expo 2020 Dubai.

"The UAE is fully aware that water security is the cornerstone of the national security, and it's of a central importance to our future goals and development path. Therefore, the UAE has launched its Water Security Strategy 2036 which aims to ensure sustainability and continuous access to water during normal and extreme emergency conditions, covering all elements of the water supply chain in the country for the next twenty years."

He added: "The strategy was developed from a comprehensive national perspective to cover all elements of the water supply chain in the country with the participation of all entities and authorities concerned with water resources in the country. It focuses on three main programmes: the Water Demand Management Program, the Water Supply Management Program and the Emergency Production and Distribution Programme. The strategy also tackles policy development, legislation, water conservation awareness campaigns, use of advanced technologies, innovation, and building national capabilities in the field of water security."

In the meantime, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment addressed a plenary session organised at Expo 2020 to observe the World Water Day as part of the Water Week. She noted that the overall objectives of the Water Security Strategy 2036 are to reduce total demand for water resources by 21 percent, increase the water productivity index to USD 110 per cubic meter, reduce the water scarcity index by three degrees, increase the reuse of treated water to 95 percent and increase national water storage capacity up to two days.

The UAE minister attended the session along with Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, and Rajendra Singh, a water conservationist and environmentalist.

The discussions highlighted the measures that world countries can collaboratively take to address the water challenge, noting that the issue is not isolated from the energy file, so plans must be developed in a way that meets the overall development goals.