Oiled water?

Published: Tuesday 31 March 1998

the United Arab Emirates is facing drinking water crisis due to oil spills in the world busiest shipping lane. Authorities are now drafting a new law to tackle environmental pollution. Oil pollution has become a major concern in the oil-rich Gulf state where in the last two years, desalination plants have been shut down following accidents in the gulf involving oil-laden tankers and barges.

Nearly 60 per cent of uae 's drinking water requirement is processed from the sea. The desalination plants are crucial for meeting the country's alarmingly high water needs. Recent calculations show that the uae 's booming cities are highest consumers of water.

In past, several cases of oil spillage have forced authorities to close desalination plants. On January 7, 1998, nearly 4,000 tonnes of oil spilled from a barge near Umm al qaiwain, forcing the closure of the Ajman desalination plant.

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