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Factors Affecting Water Demand And Consumption In Uae
Mohamed Mohamed (AlAin)
Sub-theme 1: Water supply and demand,
Most of the Arab countries are located in arid and semi-arid zones known for their scanty annual rainfall, very high rates of evaporation and consequently extremely insufficient renewable water resources . Water scarcity has become a constraint impeding the economic growth of many countries in the region . Therefore, sustainable management of water resources is mandatory in these countries. An essential component of sustainable water resources planning and management is water demand forecasting. It provides valuable trigger in determining the time and capacity for new water resources development. There is an increased need for water demand forecasting, because it can provide a simulated view of future and identify suitable management alternatives to balance water supply and demand. Based on a forecasting study, A1-Alawi  presented approaches to achieve higher efficiencies in water and power sectors in the GCC states. He emphasized on the use of latest technologies to forecast future water and electricity demand towards achieving higher efficiencies in water and power sectors in these countries. In the United Arab Emirates, the need of an accurate water demand forecasting becomes particularly important. The reasons for this include, and are not limited to, high temperature throughout the year, high population growth rates, and high development growth.
UAE has a high per capita water consumption rate that exceeds similar rate values in many developed countries. UAE has an arid climate with less than 100 mm/yr average rainfall, a very high evaporation rate (2-3m / yr), a low groundwater recharge rate (<4% of total annual water used) and no reliable, perennial surface water resources. Until recently, all the country's water requirements were met from groundwater. Over the last two to three decades, however, rapid economic development, coupled with sharp population increases and the development of a large agricultural sector, resulted in an increasing reliance on unconventional water resources, such as desalination.
Water resources in the UAE can be classified into: (1) conventional, such as rainfall, springs, wadis, lakes and ponds, and groundwater, and (2) unconventional, such as desalinated water and treated wastewater . The country depends mainly on groundwater, desalination and treated wastewater in satisfying the continuously increasing water demand. Groundwater is found in shallow and deep aquifers with different potentialities depending on rainfall events and surface runoff . Dawoud  stated that the renewable groundwater in UAE is 130 MCM (million cubic meters), while the groundwater use reached 2650 MCM. As a result, groundwater levels dropped and salinity increased which lead UAE authorities to construct several desalination plants. These desalination facilities, over the whole country, consume huge amount of energy, and produce about 342 MCM per year .
Method and Materials
This paper seeks to understand factors contributing to the high water demand and consumption in UAE. Additionally, Water demand forecasting will be conducted using the software IWR-MAIN. First, model calibration and verification will be performed using historical water consumption data then the calibrated model will be used to forecast water demand in the coming twenty years. Assessment of the water losses as well as unaccounted water will also be performed.
IWR-MAIN Water Demand Management Suite  is software which has been designed for projecting municipal and industrial water demands. The IWR-MAIN can facilitate decision-making in water demand forecasting, drought planning, master planning, rate analysis, watershed planning, capital improvement planning, integrated resource planning, and conservation planning and evaluation. It has been designed to provide the long-term estimates of urban water use for planning future water demand. IWR-MAIN provides four different models for forecasting. In this study, one model has been used to help forecast water demand, which are Constant Use Rate Model
The Constant Use Rate Model calculates the base year per unit water use rate (q) from the base year water use and the number of counting units for each subsector. This calculated rate of use is held constant for all forecast years for each subsector, and is multiplied by the forecast year counting units to generate the forecasted water use for each subsector. Thus, the quantity of water use in a given subsector, month, and forecast year is calculated as:
Where, Q = Gallons of water used in subsector (s) in month (m) in year (y) N = Number of unit in subsector (s) in month (m) in year (y) q = Average daily use rate per unit in subsector (s) in month (m) in base year (b) d = Number of days in month (m) With the constant use rate method, the change in counting unit (n) explains the change in the water use forecast from year to year.
Results and Discussion
The average errors for all calibration simulations are presented in table 1. From this table it is obvious that as the base year becomes close to the last year of the forecasting period, the error becomes less. Therefore, the year 1999 was used as base year to build the forecasting scenario. Table 1 Model Calibration
This paper will present an overview of the water consumption patterns in UAE. Special interest of this paper is on water demand forecasting. The Constant Use Rate Model (one of the models used in IWR-MAIN software) will be used to forecast the water demand for the next 15 years. Model calibration shows that considering the base year 1999 produces the most accurate model. Different scenarios will be performed to forecast future water demand. Results of this study are expected to assist decision makers in UAE in planning for sustainable development.  Al-Weshah, The role of UNESCO in sustainable water resources management in the Arab World, Desalination 152 (2002) 1-l 3.
 Al-Alawi, JSK. Towards higher efficiency in water and power utilities, Desalination 123 (1999) 135-142.
 M. Brook, Water Resources of Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE. Proceedings the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) (2006).
 M. Al Rashed and M. Sherif, Water Resources in the GCC Countries: An Overview. Water Resources Management, 14 (2000) 95-75.
 M. Dawoud, (2005), The Role of Desalination in Augmentation of Water Supply in GCC Countries. Journal of Desalination, 186: 187-198.
 CDM Federal Programs Corp. 2006. IWR-MAIN Water Demand Management Suite. Carbondale. Planning and Management Consaltants, Ltd.
© 2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association