Providing drinking water for the Oryx in the desert

How to provide water supplies in remote desert locations

Abu Dhabi Emirate is an arid region with no permanent fresh surface water and very little rainfall. Therefore providing a constant water supply, to help create suitable habitats for the Arabian Oryx, was a big challenge facing the Environment agency of Abu Dhabi. There is ground water deep beneath the desert, but it has a very high salt content, which makes it unsuitable for drinking, therefore desalination plants would be required miles from the nearest supply of electricity.

In some areas we have a salinity of more than 60,000 ppm which is double the sea water salinity, so there were a lot of challenges facing us at the beginning and we had to plan it very carefully.

Dr Mohamed A Dawoud
Advisor, Water Resourcese
Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi

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