Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi warns against illegal groundwater selling to ensure its sustainability for future generations
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, February 10 - 2013 at 15:58
- PRESS RELEASE
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has called upon farm, land owners and contractors to cease the drilling of wells without a permit, and the illegal selling of groundwater. EAD has reaffirmed that it will be taking all necessary legal measures against violators, in accordance with the stipulations of Law No. 6 of 2006. EAD is the government entity mandated with the implementation of this law, which regulates well drilling and other related activities.
EAD will begin a series of intensive inspection visits to farms across the Emirate to detect and monitor and stop groundwater selling. These inspections will be held as part of a broader move to raise awareness on the negative impact groundwater selling has on the Emirate's strategic groundwater reserves. Inspectors will emphasise the importance of groundwater conservation and highlight the need to abide by regulations set forth by Law No. 6 of 2006, which regulates the well drilling and other related activities, to avoid legal action.
The inspection visits will be conducted in collaboration with a number of stakeholders in the Emirate including the Court of the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain City Municipality and Western Region Municipality.
H.E Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, said: "As the government authority mandated with the protection of the environment in the Emirate, one of our strategic priorities is to conserve Abu Dhabi's precious groundwater resources to ensure it is available for future generations. Groundwater in the UAE is largely a non-renewable resource, making its protection and conservation a vital undertaking. We have adopted a comprehensive management plan that is aimed at the optimization of groundwater use through careful planning, management and regulation. Well drilling represents one of the prime pressures on this precious resource of ours, and we need the full support and cooperation of the community in managing it."
She added: "To ensure the sustainability of our groundwater, we urge all farm owners to cooperate with us in combating this phenomenon that threatens our strategic resources by reporting any violators who practice groundwater selling."
H.E Al Mubarak mentioned that EAD's groundwater conservation efforts are two-fold. It is directly involved in Law No. 6 of 2006 and plays a key role in updating or introducing future legislation on well permitting. It also leads efforts on the Emirate's groundwater reserve management strategy along with its stakeholders. Today, there is a joint effort between the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority for the provision of alternative water sources to cover the needs of developmental projects and labour camps, in order to reduce the pressure on groundwater resources. EAD's current operational efforts in developing and controlling groundwater include: creating an online well permitting system, developing an online system to register drilling contractors, as well as the installation of GPS tracking systems on the drilling rigs themselves.
In February 2011, a decree was issued by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate and EAD Chairman, stating the drilling of new wells without a permit would be illegal.
Principally used for agriculture, groundwater is considered a scarce commodity, yet it remains a vitally important source of usable water. Today, the supply of groundwater remains threatened; there are several factors contributing to its depletion, such as illegal and excessive well drilling.
In January, EAD participated at the International Water Summit, which was organised by Masdar where it focused on raising awareness on its efforts and regulatory role in the conservation of groundwater. EAD highlighted its vision and guiding principles for Abu Dhabi's groundwater and emphasised the importance of its protection for national security and food security today's - and for future- generations.
Farm and land owners can submit an application to obtain a well permit at any of the EAD offices located in Abu Dhabi (EAD Headquarters), Al Ain (Eastern Region office) or Madinat Zayed (Western Region office). Besides the necessary land ownership documentation, EAD requires information on the land, the type of project that requires this well, as well as the name of the EAD-registered drilling contractor that will be hired.
EAD then carries out a technical evaluation before either issuing the permit or rejecting the application. If an application is rejected, there is an appeal process that land and farm owners can resort to. Once a well drilling permit is acquired, drilling must commence within 6 months of the issuing date. EAD inspects all well drilling sites to ensure adherence to its regulations by land, farm owners and drilling contractors alike.
Besides illegal well drilling, EAD can confirm that other groundwater violations are being committed include changing the status of the permitted water use and the selling of groundwater. As the authority mandated with the protection of the environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, EAD is the competent authority that issues permits for increasing the depth, repairing, closing, and the drilling of new wells. EAD issued a set of guiding principles which land owners, farmers and contractors can follow to obtain a drilling permit to avoid legal action. For more information and to report any violations on groundwater use, please call 800-555.
Articles in this section are primarily provided directly by the companies appearing or PR agencies which are solely responsible for the content. The companies concerned may use the above content on their respective web sites provided they link back to http://www.ameinfo.com
Any opinions, advice, statements, offers or other information expressed in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of AME Info FZ LLC / 4C. AME Info FZ LLC / 4C is not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy or reliability of any material, advice, opinion or statement in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site.