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Dubai is one of the pioneers in desalination technology and communities from water-deprived areas have been turning to the city for advice and good practices.

There is a reason why Dubai is as respected as it is when it comes to desalination. The city is situated in an area where fresh water is extremely scarce. As much as 98.8% of its potable water supply comes from desalination plants, with the remaining 1.8% supplied from groundwater, according to figures released at the Arabian Water and Power Forum.

The forum gathers representatives of Middle Eastern governments and focuses on two major issues: water and power. However, since the process of desalination requires large amounts of energy, the industry will have to consider more sustainable ways to provide water and power, Bloomberg reported, quoting Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chief executive officer of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the state-owned utility.

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Dubai is already implementing measures to increase the sustainability of its water system. Al Tayer told the forum attendees that Dubai had managed to bring down the proportion of unaccounted-for water in its water supply system to less than 11% in 2012, down from 42% in 1988.

He added that Dubai's combined power generation and production of potable water through desalination was energy-efficient and cost-effective because the city used natural gas and liquefied natural gas as the primary fuel.