BMI View: A growing economy, high water demand and decreasing water supply is putting the UAE's water infrastructure under some pressure, increasing the need to invest and maintain current infrastructure to avoid a shortfall in the future. However, we note that government support is strong, and that new legislation and targets regularly aim to improve efficiencies as well as encourage investment.
BMI see opportunities for investment in the water supply, energy, technology and construction sectors in the UAE, as the expansion of these vital utilities is a key priority, and the government and private sector are both willing and able to support investment and growth. This is demonstrated by the large number of new projects that have come up for tender over the past quarter across all areas of the water and waste water sector.
However, despite large-scale investments and a number of advanced water supply and extraction technologies, the UAE is still a water-stressed country. A recent US study found that the UAE is one of the most pressured countries in the world with regards to water availability. It is one of 69 countries around the world facing extreme competition for water resources and high water stress based on considerations including the ratio of total annual water withdrawals to total available annual renewable supply, variability in water supply between years, seasonal variation in water supply, flood occurrence and drought severity.
Overall, we feel that the UAE is well placed to mitigate these issues. In particular, we feel that the emphasis on recycled waste water technology development is a strong strategy, as waste water treatment facilities are far cheaper to construct and maintain than desalination plants. Moreover, they are more environmentally friendly, as less water needs to be extracted from the surrounding environs.
Improved - and more rigorously enforce - water management plans, and the reduction of leakage and wastage, will help the...