ROME — Ad Spijkers, the regional head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, has issued a warning that the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) groundwater supplies could run out by 2030 due to agricultural demand, according to a news release from the International Water Association’s (IWA) Water21.

A UAE study reported groundwater supplies around 51 percent of the country’s water, stated the release.

The study noted agriculture used approximately 34 percent of UAE’s water resources, with industrial and municipal sectors using an additional 32 percent, continued the release.

The release reported that the study also revealed desalinated water provides around 37 percent of UAE’s water, with reclaimed water accounting for an additional 12 percent.

Spijkers stated that feasibility studies were underway on the use of treated wastewater, and Abu Dhabi “has plans to irrigate an additional 3,000 farms from this source,” noted the release.

“Water security is intrinsically linked to food security, and the UAE and other countries with similar climate and natural water resources have an already acute shortage and can only expect things to get worse,” said Spijkers in the release.

Read the entire release here.