Rainfall project is vital to the UAE's future water security

Encouraging more rainfall is part of our water-security strategy. (Jeffrey E Biteng / The National)
Encouraging more rainfall is part of our water-security strategy. (Jeffrey E Biteng / The National)

With 2015 designated as the Year of Innovation, there is a renewed determination to position the UAE as a global hub for world-class scientific and technological advancement. The Emirates science, technology and innovation higher policy announced recently by the UAE Government is a vitally important landmark in the quest to secure the country’s future in a post-oil world.

As the global race to innovate gathers pace, the UAE is allocating significant resources to boost a national culture of scientific inquiry and knowledge acquisition. This focus has to be fostered through all areas of activity and national life. In keeping with the aims of the leadership’s vision, a significant number of initiatives have been launched that highlight the immense promise of the country’s intellectual and scientific capabilities.

One of the most promising of these is the programme for rain enhancement science. Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs this year, it is an ambitious project designed to aid the fight against water scarcity by using technology to stimulate rainfall. With $5 million (Dh18.36m) available, the programme has attracted interest from researchers around the world.

With this international impetus, the rain enhancement science programme is building on a successful first year to help develop the local capability required to drive innovative solutions to ensure water security.

Water is one of the seven pillars of the UAE’s innovation strategy. The strategic decision to lead rain enhancement research will benefit both us and other water-scarce regions around the world. As part of the national innovation strategy, we aim to position our country as a global leader in rain enhancement science and technology and build up the UAE’s credentials as an international scientific leader.

Those of us involved in the programme are very proud to be part of the outstanding national effort to develop an economy the equal of any other in the world based on our intellectual and scientific capabilities.

We believe that the UAE will increasingly be seen as a globally recognised, responsible leader for its commitment to address water security. We will continue to work with stakeholders to break new ground in dealing with the challenge of ensuring water security for our future needs.

By promoting research and development, investment in new technologies, more efficient resource conservation and effective international partnerships, we can create world-class research clusters in our country covering the whole field of water preservation and management.

Our aim through this cooperation between local and international experts is to increase our understanding of rainfall enhancement, ensuring more effective use of data modelling, analysis, and evaluation of rainfall and cloud formations, and building the capabilities of our young scientists and technologists to forge productive collaborations to advance the field.

Our programme has already attracted considerable international interest, which will do much to strengthen local capacity and attract youth to pursue a career in scientific research. One of our priorities will be to establish a national cluster of excellence.

Initiatives such as the research programme for rain enhancement science can provide a platform for innovation to help drive the fulfilment of the policy goals set by governments and international organisations. The project also serves the broader goal of building knowledge-based regional economies and maximising the potential of the region’s human capital.

We can look forward to a renewed effort in the field of rain enhancement that could have a real impact on water sustainability both at home and in developing regions across the world.

Through playing our part in facilitating scientific and intellectual advancement, the UAE is seeking to increase the momentum of rain enhancement innovation and ensure its application for the benefit of tomorrow’s generation.

By meeting our goals, we can fully support our leadership’s strategic vision of a vibrant knowledge economy built on the power of innovation.

Alya Al Mazroui is the programme manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science

Published: December 7, 2015 04:00 AM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one