'Magic Sand' aims to end UAE's food & water deficit within five years
Mita Srinivasan
10X Technology

'Magic Sand' aims to end UAE's food & water deficit within five years

Breakthrough sand technology can harvest and store rainwater to create a new water source for the region

Dake Rechsand, a collaboration between South Africa’s Dake Group and the Rechsand Technology Group from Beijing, has launched its revolutionary ‘magic sand’ technology and its affiliated sand-made product range in the Middle East region. The Dake Rechsand technology transforms the properties of ordinary sand, to allow the free passage of air, while retaining water.

The breathable sand delivers on two key challenges for the region – desert farming as well as water conservation. Made up of regular sand particles, coated using a special technology, this ‘magic sand’ can retain water much longer while also allowing free circulation of air, unlike other hydrophobic materials. The innovation can empower the region to grow food abundantly while also cutting down on water needed for irrigation by nearly 80 percent. Even traditional crops like rice and several varieties of fruit and nut trees can be easily grown in desert regions, without the need to for excess water or chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

In a statement, Chandra Dake, Executive Chairman & Group CEO of Dake Group pointed out that “This (MENA) region is currently using over 75 percent of its renewable water resources, 85 percent of which is being used for irrigation. According to Dake, the UAE authorities made significant investments in cloud-seeding technologies, with very successful results. However, UAE continues to be limited in its capacity to harvest this increased annual precipitation, resulting in flooding and wastage of surface water.

Developed as a result of 35 years of research by Qin Shengy, Dean of Production at the Rechsand Research Institute, this technology has helped develop an array of products, with unique properties suitable for real world applications. The revolutionary product is now being promoted globally by Dake Rechsand and given the region’s water scarcity, Dubai is the regional launch pad for the first global launch.

The product has already been introduced into the UAE market with several successful pilot projects underway.

Currently, Dake Rechsand products are fabricated in China. However, the company is already making plans to develop regional manufacturing facilities based on demand within the MENA region.