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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ABUDHABI3247
2003-07-13 12:40:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

USGS MISSION IN UAE IN TROUBLE

Tags:   OTRA  TPHY  KSCA  SENV  ECON  TC 
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Diana T Fritz  03/21/2007 12:19:49 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                            July 13, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 3247 - ROUTINE)         

TAGS:     OTRA, TPHY, SENV, ECON, KSCA                           

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  USGS MISSION IN UAE IN TROUBLE                         

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
UNCLAS        ABU DHABI 03247

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: ECON 
    INFO:   P/M AMB DCM POL 
Laser1:
    INFO:   FCS 

DISSEMINATION: ECON
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: A/DCM: KVANDEVATE
DRAFTED: ECON: GARANA
CLEARED: ECON: OBJOHN

VZCZCADI054
RR RUEHC RUEHZM
DE RUEHAD #3247 1941240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131240Z JUL 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0819
RUEHZM/GCC COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS ABU DHABI 003247 

SIPDIS

FOR DINT/USGS/RGARMON
FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA/JSMITH

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA TPHY KSCA SENV ECON TC
SUBJECT: USGS MISSION IN UAE IN TROUBLE

REF: ABU DHABI 1130



1. (SBU) Summary: The National Drilling Company (NDC)
hasrequested that the Ground Water Research Project
(GWRP) -- the UAE entity with which the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS) is affiliated -- stop
drilling new water wells, downsize its staff and end
its research projects in the UAE. NDC would like the
GWRP only to maintain a database, an unacceptable
option for the USGS scientists. For now, the two
parties have agreed to a compromise situation whereby
GWRP reduced local staff and will curtail the
assignment of one of the three USGS scientists. End
summary.



2. (SBU) USGS Program Advisor Douglas A. Trudeau
informed Econoff that the NDC has requested that the
GWRP stop doing research and drilling water wells and
only maintain a database. (Note: NDC is part of
ADNOC, the state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
The GWRP program began in 1988, and USGS provides NDC
with assistance in writing guidelines and standards
for water-well drilling, well construction, well
rehabilitation and in training NDC well drillers. End
note.)



3. (SBU) The NDC also wants GWRP to reduce costs,
downsize the workforce, and cut the American staff
down to only the country advisor. The USGS and NDC
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March
10, 2003, outlining the general parameters of their
relationship (see reftel). The two also have in place
a signed Project Implementation Plan (PIP) extension
valid until December 31, 2003, which calls for funding
3 USGS in-country advisors.



4. (SBU) After negotiations with NDC, the GWRP agreed
to trim the number of local staff from 51 to 23 as of
July 1, and one of the three USGS scientists will
likely curtail his assignment and leave in the next 2-
3 months. The other two Americans will finish their
tours. USGS maintains that it is too difficult to
have only one USGS staff person in Al Ain (the UAE
town where the project is based), but they are willing
to compromise by calling one person a country advisor
and putting two others there on long-term TDY status.



5. (SBU) USGS believes that solely maintaining a
database is not a worthwhile endeavor for them. They
are trained scientists and for their mission to be
meaningful, they need to be involved in data
collection and interpretative work. Furthermore, USGS
believes there must be provisions for drilling new
wells. Over time the wells currently in place will
stop being functional, or given the stresses on the
ground-water system here, they will be located in
areas lacking scientific merit. Either way, there
will be no new meaningful data.



6. (SBU) Comment: The USGS does not know the reasons
behind the proposed changes in the program, only that
they were requested by ADNOC. Possible explanations
are either that ADNOC has decided to have nothing to
do with groundwater and wishes to terminate the
program, or more likely, that a new water authority
will be established in Abu Dhabi Emirate -- either
under the auspices of ADNOC or as an independent
agency. If this is true, NDC is preparing GWRP's
absorption into this new entity. The use of
groundwater is also less important in Al Ain now --
especially for agriculture -- because a new
desalination plant in Fujairah Emirate will pump up to
150 million gallons of water per day to the region
within the next year. End comment.

Wahba