An environmentalist from the UAE is proposing to fill the Empty Quarter desert,which has been empty for thousands of years, “with greenery and environmentally friendly projects”.
Abdulla Alshehi has launched the ambitious initiative to support the world’s efforts at fighting the destructive effects of the global warming phenomenon.
The initiative was announced with the release of his book Filling the Empty Quarter: Declaring a Green Jihad On the Desert, which was published recently in the USA.
The author is proposing that the UAE take the lead on the project; considering the UAE’s notable effort towards the environment—such as the establishment of clean city of “Masdar” and the hosting of IRENA (The International Renewable Energy Agency ) HQ.
It is proposed that a Great Green Wall of the UAE shall isolate the country from the Empty Quarter desert; the wall shall stretch from Al Ain City up to Silla city, with the establishment of eco-friendly industries and farms within the western region of Abu Dhabi.
As water is the magic formula into making the subject project a success, the author is shedding light on many out-of-the-box proposals and the most innovative techniques in water harvesting & saving technologies; such as:
Proposal to utilize sea water for toilet flushing would save millions of liters of fresh desalinated water currently being used to flush toilets around the region; Hong Kong has used seawater for toilet flushing since the 1950s.
Proposal to mine water from south-pole ice bergs which are already disintegrateing due to global warming; the ice bergs, once melted, will not only add to the rising sea level problem but billions of liters of much-needed fresh water will be lost to the sea.
The Endless Rivers project shall connect the Pakistani river of Dasth to UAE shores via under-sea pipelines. This will ensure a continuous supply of water rich with fertile sediments good for agricultural uses. Water from the river can be also pumped during flooding—the River Dasth is 500 kms away from Fujairah shores.
Rainwater capture over areas of water such as the sea and lakes has not previously been considered as a means for water supply, except for small-scale provision for emergency situations at sea. The “AL Maa” technology invented by Eng. Abdulla Alshehi aims to provide improved apparatus and methods for rainwater capture that are adapted for use at sea, either in deep water or inshore.
The key difference in the “AL Maa” system is that it is a large-scale solution rather than one meant for only limited use; and it collects water in four different weather conditions ; namely : 1. Solar power sea water desalination when it is sunny. 2. The water from air technology when it is humid. 3. Water from wind technology if it is windy. 4. And the simple but effective inverted umbrella method is used if it is raining.
The book calls Muslims to take the lead in fighting the global warming by declaring a Green Jihad ; to help change the unfair association of the word “jihad” with death and destruction on the world media; as well as helping to create much needed jobs for misled youngsters who might otherwise be tempted to join any terrorist organizations.
In addition, a Pledge to Fill The Empty Quarter was launched through the crowd funding platform Indiegogo in order to raise awareness and get the public actively participating in this Nobel environmental Initiative. Innovative incentives are being offered to contributors in exchange for their support such as engraving their names on the Great Green wall of the UAE & a bottle of water from the first iceberg to be mined for water.
Below is an introduction about Filling The Empty Quarter (Arabic & English clips):
About Eng. Abdulla Al Shehi:
Founder and chief executive officer of Q2 “The market leader on environment friendly mobile car washes; which managed to save over 500 Million of liters used in the car wash industry.”
Inventor of Sea-borne water collector invention “AL Maa”.
Advisor & investor on start-ups and Environment entrepreneur.