Brown is the new green for Al Ain's plant lovers
Colourful foreign flowers are being replaced with brown desert shrubs in Al Ain in a bid to save thousands of litres of water every year.
The municipality planted 420 desert shrubs in place of some city flower-beds to test out their water-saving plan and it’s been so successful that it is now digging up flower beds the emirate over. Foreign trees will also be replaced with date palms, which require much less water.
Dr Helal Humaid Saed Al Kaabi, director of parks and recreation facilities at Al Ain Municipality, told 7DAYS: “Using local plants is saving a lot of underground water and also treated water.”
During the two-month pilot programme there was a 90 per cent reduction in the use of water for irrigation and in the operation and maintenance costs by using plants such as those pictured.
At the Cityscape conference in Abu Dhabi last week, Dr Al Kaabi made a presentation that included photos of workers planting tough-looking brown shrubs beside bus stops and in parks.
Twenty-five types of desert plants were used in the pilot and 11 have now been chosen to be used across the city. The municipality is also looking at ways of reducing the amount of green lawns in the emirate.