Introduction: A Complex Investigation of Water Management Issues
This paper provides a complex overview of the relevant water management concerns in the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, in this paper, the central implication of the key water control problem is analyzed. The suggested solutions and recommendations, which regard the management area, are differentiated.
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The fundamental concerns, which determine the regulation of water delivery in the UAE, stem from the recent demographic increase. According to this fact, the demand for water resources is going up quite rapidly as well. The problems, which encompass water management, can be regarded, due to the specific domains, which apply these resources.
The Crisis of Agriculture in the UAE: Irrigation Implications
The United Arab Emirates is the country, which possesses a highly developed agricultural sphere. Thus, due to the beneficial weather conditions, as well as the relative fertility of the soils, the individual and state productions make extensive use of planting. The central problem, which connects water management and Arabic agriculture, is the inefficiency of irrigation. Currently, the plants in the fields of the country receive precipitation through the application of traditional spray irrigation methodology. Due to its use, approximately one-third of the water resources are spent in vain. Specifically, the method of spray irrigation inflicts a high percentage of evaporation. Therefore, in the course of water delivery, 35% of the supplied resources get wasted. Therefore, it is critical to the central authority of the country to take some decisive measures so that to find an alternative way of agricultural irrigation. In this context, the specialists suggest the use of drip irrigation since it directs water straightly to the soil without being exposed to the sun for a long time. Therefore, it does not evaporate (Drip irrigation system – components and their function, 2012).
Private Household Concern: Water Misuse
The second considerable consumer of the water supplies in the United Arab Emirates is the domain of the private household. Naturally, every microsphere of human activity requires water resources. Thus, people need water supplies for the preparation of food as well as the maintenance of basic operational facilities such as air-conditioning system. Therefore, the regularity of delivery manages basic human needs.
The fundamental problem, which brings some serious problems to the household management of water, is the poor quality of tap resources. Due to the negative conditioning and low level of purification of the water pipes, the resources, which are brought into the individual houses, become contaminated and, therefore, can not be consumed. As a consequence, the citizens of the UAE are forced to drink water, which they purchase in the magazines. Moreover, the experts deduced that the water, which is delivered through pipes, can not be used even for irrigation since it can damage the quality of soil and the production. Therefore, a huge amount of water resources is spent for no purpose.
Due to global warming, as well as the peculiarities of the Asian climate, the demand for water among the individual consumers increases annually, which limits the accessibility of bottled water and enhances its price. Thus, it might be helpful for the government to launch an operation of water pipes purification, for the edibility of tap water would increase the amounts of the valuable resource considerably. Furthermore, much water is spent on air-conditioning systems support. Mainly, the systems employ a large quantity of the resources in the form through pumps. Consequently, water management should improve along with the renovation of water conservation techniques as well (Dakkak, 2015).
Industrial Water Management: The Issue of Reuse
The sphere of industry employs water resources in smaller amounts than the other spheres of human activity. Still, a considerable amount of water is wasted for cleaning the industrial facilities and machinery. As a result, a huge amount of wastewater is generated throughout the country. In this context, the concept of water reuse might be relevant, for the resources, which are spent for cleansing can be gathered after the operations are completed. The reused wastewater, then, can be directed to the irrigation centers or allocated for household supply. The most consistent and optimal method of water reuse is desalination, which might be sustained through building special plants, which would withdraw the employed water and turn it into cleansed resources. Currently, the separate cities in Arabic world already managed to employ the strategy and established desalination plants. This particularly regards such urban centers as Dubai and Abu Dhabi (Matlock, 2008).
Nevertheless, the issue of water reuse is doubted and questioned in the United Arab Emirates, for the experts claim that it can inflict some consistent damage on the natural environment. Thus, it is claimed that the brine, which is generated in the course of water purification, is directed to the Arabian Gulf. This tendency, consequently, leads to the contamination of the ocean. In this context, the issue of basement water protection evolves.
Water Basement Cleansing: The Issue of Environmental Protection
It was mentioned previously that desalination plants serve as the sources of river and ocean contamination. The ecologists argue that the quality of water in the Arabian Gulf reduced to the level, on which it can no longer be used for irrigation or household delivery. Desalination functioning is not the only threat for the natural water basements. Thus, it is acknowledged that multiple industrial machines and tanks are illegally entering the Gulf for the purpose of cleaning. The tendency provokes a considerable discharge of gasses and the other contamination subjects into the water. Therefore, it is a challenge for the central authorities to impose a strict control over the process of Gulf entering so that to eradicate pollution (Todorova, 2009).
The Controversy of Irrigation in UAE: Management Proposal
Introduction: The Relevance of the Issue
The proposal outlines the major implications and functions of the irrigation system, which is employed in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the central suggestions as to the water management improvement.
According to the primary estimations of the water delivery in the Arab world, one may conclude that the system of the resource control lacks precision and innovation. Due to the analysis of the water use in the country, it was deduced that the domain of agricultural production belongs to the primary consumer-directed areas. The sphere of plant cultivation is optimal and highly successful due to the territory peculiarities as well as the appropriate climate conditions. The basic problem, which hinders the successful sustention of agriculture, concerns the issue of irrigation. Due to the high level of evaporation, the poor quality of the Gulf water as well as an inefficiency of irrigation facilities, the domain faces considerable losses. Therefore, it was decided to select the issue for the further contemplation with an aim of developing a consistent implementation proposal for the further improvement of the irrigation system.
The Aim of Proposal and Study Design
The primary objective of the work is to provide a complex estimation of the appropriate water management methods, which are applied to Arabian agriculture. In this context, both the traditional and innovative techniques of water delivery are reflected. The overview of the professional literature and the evidence-based studies provides a link between the climate conditions and agricultural needs, which exist in UAE. Thus, the study assists in verifying the advantages and disadvantages of the current water management methods as well as points out the most optimal technique of water delivery treatment, which may be used in the country so that to avoid the resource shortages.
The design of the work constitutes a logical organization of a qualitative research analysis. First, the literature, which serves as a background for the suggestions, is estimated. Second, the general account of the functioning irrigation systems is provided. Third, the supremacy and effectiveness of the drip irrigation technology is approved and justifies as well as some practical illustrations of the efficacy are emphasized. Finally, the recommendations and suggestions as to the further use of the system are specified.
The qualitative research employs the method of data analysis. Thus, the description of the basic irrigation systems, which are used in UAE, is sustained on the basis of five evidence-based studies. According to the data extraction results, the optimal irrigation technique is outlined.
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The study paper refers to several academic sources as well as some media-based information, which reflect the relevance of the irrigation concern in UAE. Specifically, five peer-reviewed scientific articles and five web-sources are referenced in the work.
The scientific articles reflect the primary evidence, which certifies the efficiency of drop irrigation and its supremacy over the other technologies of water delivery. Thus, the article Soil solarization for weed management in UAE emphasizes the influence of the drip irrigation use on the quality of the cultivated crops. The work Subsurface drip irrigation of row crops introduces some data about the improved system of drip irrigation, which is based under the ground. The evidence-based articles Impact of land disposal of reject brine from desalination plants on soil and groundwater by Mohamed, Maraqa, and Handhaly, Water problem in the UAE mountain areas by Qaydi, and Review future concerns on irrigation requirements of date palm tree in United Arab Emirates by Shahin and Salem provide a general background for the problem. In particular, these studies explain the reasoning of spray irrigation inefficiency as well as underline the principles of farming and climate conditions, which stimulate water scarcity in UAE.
The web resources illustrate the directions for irrigation systems’ construction. For instance, the reports under the names Drip irrigation design guidelines and Drip irrigation system – components and their function offer an overview of the specifications of drip irrigation pipes usage. The information promotes understanding of the basic advantages of the water delivery facility.
The media releases provide a general understanding of the water management solutions that exist in the Arab world today, which helps to figure out what the primary concerns of water delivery are. The web articles Water profile of United Arab Emirates by Matlock Water management in UAE by Dakkak present a picture of climate environment, which ensures water shortage. The media release Desalination threat to the growing Gulf by Todorova presents information about the threat to the natural water reservoirs in UAE.
Therefore, the cited works provide a solid background for the research design for they reflect the major implications of water management in the Arab world as well as help in focusing on the problem of irrigation.
The Systems of Irrigation in UAE
The methods of delivering water to the Arabian plantations and fields differ in their technology parameters and the specifications of usage. The primary techniques of irrigation include the traditional spray irrigation and the innovative drip irrigation.
The designation of the so-called sprinkler or spray irrigation follows the pattern of the natural water delivery. Thus, it represents a complex system of pipes, which help to distribute water throughout the ground. Ordinarily, the technology of spray irrigation is suitable only for the resistant crops such as tree cultures. However, the experts suggest that the type of water delivery may damage the crops, which are small in size and have a delicate structure. The type of soil is also critical when one selects the methods of irrigation. Thus, it is recommended to apply drip irrigation exclusively to sandy soils. Moreover, it is critical to choose soils, which have high infiltration rates so that the water did not damage the structure of the plants’ roots (Mohamed, Maraqa, & Handhaly, 2005).
The basic agricultural facilities usually give preference to sprinkler irrigation, for it possesses an extremely uncomplicated design and can be constructed easily and on a regular basis. Specifically, it is comprised of the sources of water pumps, sprinklers, and laterals. Usually, the systems are constructed in such a way so that the pipes remained in close proximity to each other. In this way, there directions overlap, which guarantees the identification of the target areas.
Despite their relative complexion simplicity, the systems of sprinkler irrigation possess specific shortcomings. First, the functioning of such technologies contributes to the consistent waste of the valuable resource. Thus, when the streams of water, which come from pipes, are focused on soil, there is a possibility of waste, for the managers can not control the specific allocations of water that fall on the separate areas. Thus, one may notice the streams of water between the rows, which evolve in the aftermath of irrigation. This tendency signifies that different types of plants need various allocations of water. Therefore, if the crop requires small irrigation, the amount of wastewater, which remains after its irrigation, seems considerable.
Except for water waste, the method of spray irrigation is inefficient in UAE, due to the climate conditions. It is well-known that the weather is quite hot in the Arab world. Therefore, since water is delivered to the plants in a condition of spray, it tends to evaporate quickly. As a result, in the course of sprinkler irrigation, approximately 40 % of water gets wasted.
The second method of providing agricultural crops with water is the underground irrigation. The system of such resource delivery was implemented as a complex web of pipes, which are installed in proximity from plantations or cultures of crops. An underground irrigation consists of pipes, the special preventers, which stop water flows from returning back. The implementation of the technology was quite undertaking in the old times, for the passages for pipes were dug by the specialists.
Today, however, a special pipe-pulling machine is employed. The primary advantage of the system is its susceptibility to regulation and measurement. Thus, the experts may regulate the amount of water, which is supplied through the pipes. Due to it, the crops receive the appropriate nutrition. Still, the method has its considerable flaws. For instance, there is a problem with installing the underground pipes in the mountainous areas, due to the harshness of soil and the scarcity of water reservoirs. In UAE, a huge number of farming centers are situated on the east coast, which is characterized by the mountainous infrastructure. Therefore, the use of the technology is irrational in the given environment (Qaydi, 2012).
Lately, the local and central water management institutions have overtaken the tendency of applying drip irrigation both on the big agricultural fields and household plantations. The system construction is based on the web of pipes with the special taps, through which water is directed straightly to the roots of the crops. The main elements of the system include filters, laterals, emitters, and drippers. The purpose of filtering installations is to provide the consistent cleansing of water. The purification may be conducted manually or automatically. Moreover, the drip irrigation facilities often include additional disk and gravel filters, which provide efficient cleansing of some inorganic materials. Laterals are the small pipes, which hold water before it is emitted into the soil. Finally, emitters and drippers are the automatic components, which sustain water flowing (Drip irrigation design guidelines, 2015).
The primary advantages of drip irrigation are their relative resistance to evaporation since the resources are not exposed to the hot air. Moreover, it is acknowledged that this specific type of water delivery maximizes the effectiveness of soil solarization. This tendency is predetermined by the fact that solarization materials are often damaged through the downward spray precipitation (Al-Masoom, Saghir, & Itani, 2003).
Recently, the innovative method of water delivery, which was called subsurface drip irrigation, was introduced in the United Arab Emirates. This system provides an improved model of water supplying for it can extract moisture even from the deepest parts of the ground. The practical evaluation of the method’s functioning revealed that the application of subsurface drip irrigation contributes to the prevention of percolation as well as stimulated the crops’ growth (Ayars et al., 2000).
Drip Irrigation Installation: Recommendations
The system of drip irrigation provides a foundation for successful agriculture handling today. The practical evidence reveals that the application of the technology in the western regions of UAE increased the efficiency of crop cultivation to 80% in the last five years (Shahin & Salem, 2010). Therefore, the central authorities in the Arab countries have to embrace the method of drip irrigation on the state level so that to enhance the quality of water management.
Today, the government of UAE introduces the system of drip irrigation as the method, through which water is conserved. Still, the application of the technology in the area of farming is still not obligatory. Therefore, today, the organs of water management are responsible for imposing several rules, which regard the renovation of water delivery systems. The basic implementation initiatives include several issues. First, it may be suggested to provide the consistent training for farmers so that to stipulate the knowledge of drip irrigation systems. Moreover, it is critical to show them that the shortage of water delivery can impose some negative effects on the cultivation of crops. For instance, the workers of the agricultural sectors have to be acquainted with the statistic data of cultivation efficiency, which tests the amounts of yield crops that are received through the spray and underground irrigation as well as the amounts of plants that are grown as the follow-up of drip irrigation usage.
The complex comparison may reveal that the fruitfulness of the latter will be much higher than the percentage of sprinkler and underground irrigation results. Moreover, the farmers have to realize that the facilities of drip irrigation are, in fact, much easier I implementation, than their respective counterparts. Thus, they may be regulated from afar, and the systems do not need any preliminary measurements of moisture amount since they allocate water automatically. Second, the authority of UAE has to allocate subsidy for the installation of drip irrigation.
According to the estimations of the general system cost, it is acknowledged that the installation of the pipe-based facility is quite expensive. Thus, the pipes are usually produced of the water-proof aluminum, which is costly. Moreover, big plantations require a huge amount of the materials for every plant has to be grown in proximity to the source of moisture and the distance between them should not be bigger than one meter. Therefore, the independent financing of the irrigation renewal is impossible without the investments that might be allocated by the local and state governments. Finally, it is important to motivate the farmers to embrace the renovation by introducing the system of bonuses and privileges.
Conclusion: Estimating Irrigation Solution
Consequently, this work points out that the system of drip irrigation is the most consistent technology of water delivery, which may be applied in UAE. Due to its alignment with the climate conditions, the facility provides nutrition and optimal growth opportunities to the crops. The problem of the drip irrigation installation represents one of the most critical problems in the area of water management.
Al-Masoom, A., Saghir, A., & Itani, S. (2003). Soil solarization for weed management in UAE. Weed Technology, 7(2), 507-510.
Ayars, J., Phene, C., Hutmacher, R., Davis, K., Schoneman, R., & Voil, S. (2000). Subsurface drip irrigation of row crops: A review of 15 years of research at the water management research laboratory. Agricultural Water Management, 42(1), 1-27.
Dakkak, A. (2015). Water management in UAE . Web.
Drip irrigation design guidelines (2015). Web.
Drip irrigation system – components and their function (2012). Web.
Matlock, M. (2008). Water profile of United Arab Emirates. Web.
Mohamed, A., Maraqa, M., & Handhaly, J. (2005). Impact of land disposal of reject brine from desalination plants on soil and groundwater. Desalination and Environment, 182(1), 411-433.
Qaydi, S. (2012). Water problem in the UAE mountain areas: A case study on the east coast farming areas. Life Sciences & Engineering, 2(1), 1-13.
Shahin, S., & Salem, M. (2010). Review future concerns on irrigation requirements of date palm tree in United Arab Emirates: Call for quick actions. College of Food and Agriculture, 2 (6), 12-17.
Todorova, V. (2009), Desalination threat to the growing Gulf. Web.