The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) held a workshop on the technical standards for water and marine residue quality.
The workshop saw EAD experts present the results of the Abu Dhabi marine water quality monitoring programmes and field surveys that EAD regularly undertakes to monitor marine water quality along the coastline of the Emirate.
Eng. Shaikha Ahmed Al Hosani, Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Quality Sector, EAD said: “The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has developed at an extraordinary pace over the past few years. It is vital that we work with our government partners to mitigate any kind of potential negative effects on the environment, to ensure the long-term sustainability of a healthy marine environment across the Emirate.”
The Abu Dhabi Executive Council had endorsed EAD’s operational plan to improve marine water quality in the Emirate. The plan comprises a number of projects and initiatives that are both legislative and operational, including several action points such as the establishment of technical standards for water and marine residue quality.
Al Hosani added: “Monitoring and evaluation are key components in understanding water quality challenges and in designing the right plans and programmes to address them. In its capacity as the regulator for the environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, EAD is continuously ramping up its efforts to monitor marine water quality in collaboration with its stakeholders.”
During the workshop, EAD revealed the results of the marine water quality monitoring for 2014, which recorded an improvement in comparison with the previous year. Participants were able to share their thoughts on the proposed technical standards, their implementation mechanisms, and the follow up legislation that are necessary to enforce them.
The technical standards for water and marine residue quality include extensive lists of the physical and chemical characteristics of the water and residues. Given the importance of water quality on the microbial level and its direct impact on human health, EAD is coordinating with the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi to establish special microbial water-quality standards.
EAD will also be working towards creating legislation that ensures the implementation of marine technical standards, as well as reviewing existing legislation on marine water quality.
The workshop was attended by a number of government stakeholders including the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime, Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority, Department of Transport – Abu Dhabi, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi Police General HQ, Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, Regulation & Supervision Bureau, Industrial Development Bureau, National Coordination and Response Office in Abu Dhabi, Tadweer, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).