Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Move to curb illegal drilling and conserve a precious resource :: Gulf News

The precious resource is water. Here's part of the Gulf News report:
Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) yesterday launched a pilot project to examine and evaluate water levels of an estimated 100,000 wells in the emirate. The project was launched with commissioning from the German-based Dornier Consortium to register and survey from 10,000 to 15,000 wells in Al Ain and Liwa under a Dh2.2million agreement signed yesterday.
According to Al Mansouri [Majid Al Mansouri, EAD Secretary General], the underground water management project aims at bringing all the activities of well digging, drilling or pumping under regulation, and also curbing illegal digging and drilling of wells in the emirate. "The project was launched on the instruction and approval of the Executive Council to preserve underground aquifers and protect them from depletion. The strategy was necessary as all these wells are unregistered, have no data and had been dug or drilled in the absence of regulatory control," said Al Mansouri.

The work on the initial project began last month. The rest of the emirate's wells are expected to be registered and surveyed by the end of 2010.
Markets are generally a good way to organize economic activity. Indeed, for most products it is best for there to be an absence of regulatory control.

Sometimes markets fail, as in this case. The reason is that no one owns an aquifer. This results in a race to exploit this scarce resource. Regulatory control is warranted. It is good that Abu Dhabi is tightening regulations and even better that it is working towards a capability of enforcing the regulations it has.



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