New Oasis in UAE

A new freshwater oasis has formed in the UAE…it even has fish and bird life now…and the origins of it are amazing:

Here’s how this lake got here: A desalination plant right on the coast pulls in saltwater from the Persian Gulf and makes that water drinkable and usable. The water is then pumped 150 miles inland to the city of Al Ain. The residents there drink it up, bathe with it and then flush it down their drains.

“It goes to the sewage treatment plant, and they treat it, and they bring it back into town. And they water the parks and the gardens and things like that, and that percolates down into the groundwater,” Clark says.

And then it ends up in the desert, a short distance from Al Ain, by percolating back up from the ground. This water’s clean. But still, it comes as a shock to some in the desert.

And new species for the UAE are moving into the lakes…including birds.

Clark, with the U.S. Geological Survey, says he’s not so worried about the desert ecosystem. He says the lake is tiny compared to the vast amount of desert in this part of the world.

“If I look through the binoculars, there’s, like, seven different kinds of herons. There’s greater cormorants. There’s ferruginous ducks, which are another very rare worldwide species,” Clark says. “There’s about 15 of them out here.”

This year, three types of birds bred at this lake. They’ve never been able to breed before in the United Arab Emirates. But this lake, and the others like it, have changed all that.

“Every year, we find two or three or four or five birds that have never been seen before in the UAE. So it’s one of the few places in the world that the number of birds is actually increasing, instead of decreasing,” Clark says.

There are fish appearing in these lakes as well. Fish eggs cling to the feet and legs of the herons. So as the birds shuttle between old and new lakes, the eggs fall off and hatch. That’s how you get fish in a desert.

Out here, one ecosystem is leaking into another, and new lakes like this one are starting to appear in other parts of the desert.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.