UAE’s water security crisis can be handled via Pakistan, says head of Geowash

&NCS_modified=20160102180000&MaxW=640&imageVersion=default&AR-160109882An Emirati businessman, Abdulla Al Shehi, chief executive of Geowash, said The answer to the UAE’s water shortage could lie in a pipeline from Pakistan. He further said “Technology is not a problem. We are at an advanced stage in engineering where it is possible politically as well. I don’t think there will be any problem. It is beneficial for both countries,”
He wrote a paper, where he proposed that Dasht River floods annually, which prompted the Pakistani government to empty the excess water through channels leading to the sea. With an underground piperline from Dasht, a river 500 kilometres away in Pakistan, that excessive water could be put to use in the UAE.
Mr Al Sheh since its inception, has run Geowash, which washes a car using only four litres of water, compared to the 220 litres conventional cleaning takes. This procedure has allowed the company to save 500 million litres of water since 2008. Therefore he is considered as a specialist in water saving.
Mr Al Shehi admitted the short comings of this pipeline idea also and said that The pipeline, if built, would not be the longest – that honour belongs to Turkey’s 9,300km pipeline in the Harran Plain. Nor will it be the most difficult feat of engineering. However, it would face other issues. There will be an environmental impact. There might be a negative effect, which I think is minor. Though, the benefits in saving water from desalination and the amount of biological life it will spur will offset the effects.
However, for Professor Hussein Amery, who wrote a book titled Arab Water Security, the concept of creating a pipeline is fraught with political issues.
Professor Hussein Amery said “I won’t discuss the economics of engineering challenges. I am suspicious of a project of this sort, because let me remind you that Qatar and Kuwait both have explored importing water from south-west Iran,” He further added that The problem with creating cross-country pipelines was that it created a security situation where a nation is dependent on a neighbor i.e. “hydro-dependency”.
Professor Amery emphasized that Gulf-Pakistani relations are different than Gulf-Irani relations. I am totally aware of that, but the engineering would be challenging and difficult considering the terrain. He said that the political and technological hurdles can be overcome, but even then, the idea still would not be efficient. he said, the UAE relies heavily on a very energy-intensive water source.
He explained the usage of water and said that We use a very small amount of water in our homes in the Gulf states, Anywhere between 70 to 80 per cent goes to agriculture. “It’s much cheaper and much more efficient to have the Pakistanis grow wheat and feed cows, then export the food [than import the water and grow food locally].”
Dr Ahmad Belhoul, chief executive of Masdar, said although it is investing heavily in researching renewable energy to provide energy to desalination plants, he welcomed new ideas, especially as the year of innovation comes to a close. he said, it warms my heart that Emiratis and expats alike are thinking proactively of solutions.”

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