Khalifa issues law on regulating deep water resources in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 31st October, 2016 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, a law on regulation of deep water resources in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

According to the law, the deep water resources in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, shall be owned by the emirate. It stipulates that any activities related to recovery or use of deep water, shall be subject to the regulations and provisions of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The EAD will handle the management, regulation and licensing of the deep water activities in the emirate.

The law stipulates that a licence must be obtained from EAD, before carrying out any works such as drilling a new well, recovering or transporting deep water or installing desalination units on the wells for purposes other than drinking.

The law states that the licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the license and shall commit to install a water meter on each well, to register all wells, not to exceed the permitted amounts of recovered water, to conduct regular maintenance for the wells, pumps and meters and to refrain from selling deep water.

The law also regulates duties of drilling contractors and prohibits any activities that could lead to deep water contamination. It requires those who accidentally discover deep water a deep water source, should notify EAD.

The law also details penalties for relevant offences that range between imprisonment and fines of up to AED300,000. The fine may be doubled if the offence is repeated.

The law grants a grace period for the concerned parties to rectify their status with regards to deep water resources, which will expire six months after the law takes effect.