Dubai plans huge US$20bn delsalination investment
Emirate will use cash to boost capacity by 500m gallons of water a day
By Alex Delmar-Morgan
Dubai will invest up to $20 billion in desalination over the next eight years as it moves to meet soaring demand for fresh water, it was announced on Monday.
The emirate, which has six desalination plants with a further five either under construction or in planning phase, aims to boost its capacity by 500m gallons of water a day, according to Leon Awerbuch, a board member of the lnternational Desalination Association (IDA).
“You are talking significant investment,” said Awerbuch at a gathering of IDA officials on Monday to announce the IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse 2009, which will take place in Dubai in November.
Awerbuch said Dubai currently produces 275m gallons of desalinated water a day and plans between $10bn and $20bn of investment in new plants over eight years.
Neighbouring Abu Dhabi will also invest $20bn over the next 10 years and plans to double its water production capacity from 630m gallons to 1.2bn gallons per day.
Demand for water in Dubai has grown 10 percent annually over the last four years as the city’s population has increased.
Over the last 10 years the UAE has invested a total of $50bn in desalination, Awerbuch said.