Groundwater resources occur in the upper clastic and lower carbonate formations located in the Bajada region in the eastern part of the country. To increase the groundwater recharge, a number of dams have been built at various locations in the country. In 2003, there were 114 dams and embankments of various dimensions with a total storage capacity of 118 million m3, which is an increase of almost 48 percent compared to 1995, but total water stored was only 12.3 million m3. While most of these dams are basically built for recharging purposes, they also provide protection against damage caused by flash floods. The first desalination plant was installed in Abu Dhabi in 1976 with a total capacity of 250 m3/day. Because of a rapid increase in municipal and industrial water demand more plants were installed, particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 2002, the total installed gross desalination capacity in the United Arab Emirates was 1725 million m3/year. In 2005, total desalinated water produced was 950 million m3, compared to 385 million m3in 1995, meaning an increase of almost 150 percent in ten years. Desalination provides most of the municipal supply.
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