President Sheikh Mohamed pledges to keep tackling challenge of water scarcity

World Water Day is an annual event marked on March 22

Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE will continue to work with the international community to find sustainable solutions to provide freshwater to those most in need. Photo: UAE Presidential Court
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The UAE will stand firm in its mission to provide clean drinking water to those who need it, President Sheikh Mohamed said on Friday.

To mark World Water Day, whose theme this year is “Water for Peace”, Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the Emirates' mission to tackle water scarcity.

In a post on social media platform X, he said it was in support of “a more prosperous tomorrow”.

“On World Water Day, we reaffirm our commitment to overcoming the challenge of water scarcity,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote.

“The UAE will continue working in partnership with the international community to find sustainable solutions to provide freshwater to those most in need in support of a more prosperous tomorrow.”

In pursuit of this goal, Sheikh Mohamed recently launched an initiative that will invest $150 million for innovative solutions to tackle global water shortages, with $119 million in prizes on offer.

The XPrize Water Scarcity competition is a collaboration between the UAE and the American XPrize Foundation, the five-year global competition designed to provide widespread access to clean water by creating sustainable and affordable seawater desalination systems.

The Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative was also launched earlier this month and will be led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The XPrize Water Scarcity Competition aims to increase awareness of global water shortages, as well as highlight the importance of developing innovative technological solutions to address it.

Conflict over water

World Water Day, organised by the UN and held each year on March 22, aims to highlight key issues linked to water supplies.

The UN states that “water can create peace or spark conflict”, a recognition that water has often been a source of tension within and between nations.

About half the world’s population experiences severe water scarcity for at least part of the year, and nearly 650 million people struggle to find clean water, the UN says.

One of the worst-hit countries is Bangladesh, where 3.8 million people do not have access to clean water. The situation is becoming worse because of climate change.

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Updated: March 22, 2024, 7:26 AM