By Marcelo Kawanami
The lack of fresh water is an increasing global concern for many cities and villages. Thisconcern is aggravated in deserted areas such as the Middle East. Nevertheless, they are studying sustainable and smart ways to overcome the dryness of the area and use the local resources to build a magnificent oasis in the middle of the desert.
To discuss this topic, I would like to share some insights and pictures brought by Raquel Laé, a close friend and world traveler. Raquel is a content editor and web writer who is always searching for new adventures across the world.
1) Tell me about your recent experience in the Middle East.
It was an incredible experience. I was very impressed with their urban development and how they manage their resources in order to maintain and improve the landscape of the city. Walking through cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I realized how critical water is to these thriving countries. One of the local projects that deserves attention is the seawater desalination. With the UAE’s growing economy and rising population, it is crucial that they identify a sustainable desalination solution to meet their long-term water needs.
They are partnering with global research centers and universities in order to find renewable and energy-efficient solutions for their desalination process. Just for you to have an idea, the Gulf region represents 50% of the world’s desalinated water. They have already started to run some pilot plants with renewable sources with the aim of building a full-scale plant by 2020. It is undeniable though that they still have a lot of work to do once the desalination process requires huge amounts of energy and leaves behind hazardous waste.
3) What are the main challenges that they still need to overcome in order to achieve a sustainable development system?
From my point of view, the main challenge is to change the mindset of locals that are very accustomed with the abundance of this precious resource despite the lack of the same in the region. When you drive through Dubai, the lack of a water control is outright on the gigantic shopping malls that boast not only the requisite air conditioning, but also waterfalls, ice rinks, fountains, and event an indoor ski hill and an aquarium.
I would like to thank Raquel for providing these amazing pictures and this insightful interview. For more information on her world trips, check her blog: viagenslegaisebaratas.com.br