Dubai Desalination Plants in Shambles
If we sift through the sands of time then it becomes evident that Dubai has developed at an unprecedented pace. The skyline and artificial islands, world tallest building and the luxurious hotel industry, all were acquired in a matter of decades.
If we look at Dubai of late 1970s and today then it will be difficult to believe that it is the same place. From a deserted small fishing town to the oasis of Gulf, Dubai has come a long way. But on the fast track, the non-traditional human security paradigm has been undermined.
Dubai perhaps was so busy in developing its tourism and hospitality industries that it forgot about the environment. The city is home to almost two million people and today the biggest question that looms large is how to provide clean and drinkable water for them all.
Dubai, an island at the Persian Gulf, has water all around but that is undrinkable without desalination plants. Desalination, the process of removing salts and minerals from saline water to make it consumable for humans and irrigation process, came up as an answer for Dubai’s ordeal.
Currently, there is only one plant, the emirates desalination plant, that has the capacity of producing four billion water bottles per day, but the city does not have any backup and in case of emergency Dubai has roughly four days of backup supply.
Nevertheless this is not the only problem faced by Dubai. The rapid growth has spiked the industrial and human waste (pollution) that eventually is being dumped into the sea. Today the salinity level has reached to 47,000 parts per million of salt, whereas it used to be at 32,000 almost 30 years ago.
This phenomenon has resulted into increased pressure on the plants. It must be understood that these plants require a huge amount of energy, and currently Dubai is using electrical energy to run these plants.
The electricity is produced through turbines fuelled by crude oil and they omit a huge concentration of carbon dioxide, another environmental concern. Moreover, the desalination plants have residuals that are dumped into the sea, again another blow to the fragile echo system.
In the recent years due to huge demand of energy, Dubai is seeking alternative power sources. The regime is musing upon the possibilities of nuclear energy, but it has its pros and cons and under the contemporary situation it might not be feasible.
Dubai has already taken a plenty of measures that support healthy environment and it will have to build such an infrastructure that stays in line with its goal of making environment green and clean and promote healthy living.