Dubai will stockpile 90 days' worth of water for emergency use in new underground storage facilities.
Utility company Dewa said it has begun the testing of its Aquifer Storage and Recovery project at a newly constructed plant.
Once fully completed in 2025, the underground facilities will hold up to 6,000 million gallons of water.
“This makes it the largest ASR of its kind in the world to store potable water and retrieve it in case of an emergency,” Dewa said on Saturday.
“This will secure the Emirate with an additional source of potable water strategic reserve of 50MIGD for 90 days in emergencies, while ensuring the quality of the stored water.”
Saeed Al Tayer, managing director of Dewa, added that the project “helps to ensure meeting the rapidly growing demand for water across different areas in Dubai for all citizens, residents and visitors".
Two further reservoirs in the Dubai desert, in Nakhali and Lusaily, are being worked on. There are federal plans for more desalination plants in Abu Dhabi and Umm Al Quwain.
Dewa's ASR project increases the sustainable production of water in Dubai.
It uses clean solar power to desalinate seawater using the latest reverse osmosis (RO) technologies. Excess water is stored in aquifers and pumped back into the water network when needed. The cost of this innovative integrated model is less than the cost of traditional reservoirs.
More than 90 per cent of the UAE's drinking water comes from desalinated and treated seawater, as fresh groundwater is not abundant enough to support the population.