Abu Dhabi : The United Arab Emirates on Monday unveiled the world’s largest reserve of high quality desalinated water, secured in a network of 315 recovery wells lying up to 80 meters below the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi, Arabian Business reported.
The wells are fed by one of the UAE’s longest water pipeline networks which runs the water from Shuweihat desalination plant at a rate of 7 million imperial gallons per day over 27 months.
The reserve, which has at its core an infiltration and recovery system sitting atop a natural freshwater underground aquifer, was first investigated in 2002 and has been extensively researched by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), a statement said.
Established in one of the world’s driest areas where rainfall rarely exceeds 10cm a year, the project has been completed at an estimated cost of AED1.61 billion ($435.6 million) to deliver a fallback pumping capacity of 100 million gallons of water per day to the emirate if required.
The project ensures continuous water supply for Abu Dhabi city and Al Dhafra region and secures the reserve for future generations. The reserve now holds more than 26 million cubic meters of water that can bolster drinking water supply when needed.
The Liwa Desert was chosen for the project after it met strict specification criteria. Water quality is ensured through strict control, heat and salinity monitoring equipment and a range of other metrics.