15 July, 2006

Dubai's Resources Under Stress Due To Rapid Development

I liked this article very much ... first it started by giving some current statistics and future predictions ...

The population of Dubai is currently said to be around two million, but by 2020 it is projected to reach four million ... Also, the eight million visitors Dubai is drawing every year are expected to grow to 22 million over the next 10 to 15 years.

Local reports have quoted a top official saying that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority expects daily water demand to reach 341 million gallons per day and daily electricity needs to reach 8,513 megawatts by 2011.

Then the article described some "unfortunate" incidents related to shortage of electricity and water in Dubai ...

In August last year, Dubai temperatures reached 47.3 degrees Celsius, the hottest day in the city for six years. In January this year, thousands of residents in the Springs, Emirates Hills, Desert Spring Village and Meadows housing projects in Dubai were hit by acute water shortages for about 18 hours. Just last week, the same upmarket area was plunged into darkness because of a power shutdown.

In June 2005, Dubai suffered a hard blow from a power blackout caused by a technical failure that lasted more than four hours and incurred losses of tens of millions of dollars.

Now read what Nicholas Coates, Gulf News associate editor, said ...

"I cannot but have certain lingering doubts that the exponential and dynamic expansion taking place has not fully taken into account the needs of its citizens .... Where are the additional power stations, desalination plants and sewage plants?"

Dubai's resources under stress due to rapid development (KeralaNext.com)


BD said...

The article was interesting, however, where it refers to the difficulty in finding new sources of water, I don't think this is really the issue. You don't find water for a place like the UAE, you just build more desalination plants to process the plentiful supply of seawater. The question is simply whether or not Dubai will plan wisely and build a sufficient number of desalination and power plants.

Grumpy Goat said...

Most of the UAE's water and electricity comes from burning gas. It is generally accepted that Dubai (if not the rest of the UAE) will be out of fossil fuel by around 2020, hence diversification into tourism, leisure, manufacturing and finance.

But power for all those air conditioners and computers and water for the millions of additional citizens, residents and visitors (to say nothing of transport of goods and people) will have to come from somewhere.

What will be the cost when Dubai is at the mercy of foreign fuel supplies? It's a scary thought.

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