The recently held Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week conference raised serious concerns on the importance of water and the ways public can be taught about the importance of the same. The UAE’s water usage is a huge concern for the country as water resources are not available in abundant in the country. The nation has been facing challenges in maintaining water supply, mainly because of its climate. Add to this, there is large amount of water that goes wasted every second.
New regulations that would make it mandatory to involve retro-fitting of buildings to make them more water efficient, is one among the suggestions proposed by experts.
As per the words of Frederic Claux, head of GCC countries and Pakistan at Engie, a global energy and services group, “People tend to forget that there is a cost behind water,” he said. “Water is seen as a gift from the sky but in reality, when you look at the infrastructure you need to bring water to your tap, then it is a cost and people need to understand that. So it goes through a cost-effective tariff that incentivises people to save water or have reasonable use.”
UAE is taking up measures to increase the use of treated water to reduce the dependence on expensive desalinated water. Faisal Rashid, a director at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, feels that holding emergency strategic reserves at household level might provide water security to certain extend.
Awareness can reduce the problem of water wastage, but it cannot eradicate the issue as such. The government need to come up with stricter policies that can tackle the problem and also initiate measures to conserve water.
Treating wastewater will be extremely helpful in solving water crisis and one shouldn’t neglect the opportunities that arise from wastewater management. It is high time we stopped blaming climatic change and other environmental factors for water crisis; it’s the time to rise up and take action.