Breathable sand technology to help Middle East’s water scarcity - MENA startups, innovation, and tech news

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Breathable sand technology to help Middle East’s water scarcity
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Breathable sand technology to help Middle East’s water scarcity

Water scarcity is a global threat but its effects are more realised in arid or semi-arid regions like the Middle East. With the world’s population increasing at a fast pace, authorities in UAE were quick to realise the increasing burden on their water resources and hence made notable investments in cloud seeding technologies, with promising results. However, UAE still lacks the capacity to efficiently utilise this increased annual rainfall resulting in flooding and wastage of surface water.

THE REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION

Chandra Dake, CEO of DakeRechsand, a collaboration between South Africa’s Dake Group and the Rechsand Technology Group, is passionate about addressing issues of global Sustainability, Food Security, and Water Conservation. With UAE clearly in need of a solution, on August 30, 2020, he announced the launch of their breakthrough ‘magic sand’ technology and its associated sand-made product range in the Middle East region, with the vision to connect people to rainwater as a valuable and sustainable resource. Dake introduced the idea of decentralized rainwater harvesting wherein there would be several small underwater reservoirs within the city’s borders so that the rainwater is harvested close to them. This would put an end to pumping water across long distances as well as allotting huge acres of land for the drainage area.

THE ‘MAGIC’ IN THE SOLUTION

The ‘magic sand’ is made up of regular sand particles and coated using a special technology. It can retain water for a long period of time and unlike other hydrophobic materials, allows free air circulation. In addition to this, DakeRechsand has also developed tiles and kerbstones that too permit air and water to penetrate. Reservoirs built using this can store water for up to seven years, free of algae, without having to use chemicals or electricity. As a result, it is easy to grow high water consumption crops like rice and milletsin the absence of excess water or chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Thus, the breathable sand is a positive project aiming to alleviate the pressing challenges of food and water security.

GAINING ACCEPTANCE

The ‘breathing sand’ technology has been welcomed by the UAE federal authorities, the different emirates, and local companies. Plans are on to promote tree plantation. The revolutionary innovation has also been appreciated by the United Nations and other international bodies.

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