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Every drop counts

epaselect epa05176272 Children carry buckets to collect drinking water at Sapa village, in the outskirts of Mandalay, Myanmar, 23 February 2016. Weather experts say Myanmar's norther state Mandadaly might suffer from drought due to the El Nino weather phenomenon. The summer 2016 is expected to see the worst drought situation and the shortage of drinking water will also be a problem in the villages.  EPA/HEIN HTET

ALKESH SHARMA / EMIRATES BUSINESS

Home to over 8.5 million people, the United Arab Emirates, has always led from the forefront when it comes to responding to the region’s call for water security. Geographically placed at a location that is struggling with depleting water table and scarcity of fresh water, UAE has adopted a formidable stance by starting many pioneering initiatives aimed at finding far-reaching solutions to water problems. Today while ‘World Water Day’ is observed with full gusto globally, UAE is rejoicing the occasion in true spirits, with a series of motivating events and visionary pledges being made throughout the country. According to a recent report, UAE has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of water. As per the Federal Water and Electricity Authority (FEWA), a UAE resident uses 550-liter of water a day as compared to the international average of 170-litere per day. However, with improved conservation habits, Emirates can save upto 17 percent of water. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is among the frontrunners in sensitising the masses about the prudent usage of water. “Today we celebrate World Water Day, under the theme ‘Better Water, Better Jobs’, to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable development. Water resources and services alike improve the social wellbeing of all humanity, by providing food and energy security, and improving the general health of both people and the environment. This supports the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, set by the United Nations (UN),” said HE Saeed Mohammed AL Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “All year round, DEWA launches awareness programmes and innovative initiatives to encourage society to adopt a positive approach as part of their daily lives to reduce electricity and water use. Through this, 5.6 billion imperial gallons of water has been saved between 2009 and 2015,” pointed out Al Tayer. However, per capita consumption of water in capital city Abu Dhabi is slightly more than the overall nation’s consumption. According to the 2014-2018 Water Resources Management Strategy for Abu Dhabi, daily domestic water usage is 614-liter per capita in 2010, and there is a goal to reduce it to below 340-liter by 2030. This calls for curtailing water usage by over 40 percent. The UAE Vision 2021 sets strategic indexes to measure water scarcity and progress being made in water management. It is aimed at developing a coordinated data management and communication system for water supply and consumption. Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute is also playing a vital role in finding dependable answers to the long-impending water scarcity in the region. It is running various cutting – edge research projects aimed at solving water problems in the region. “UAE’s determination to secure more sustainable water supplies stems both from our unique climatic and environmental circumstances and from our strategic objective to create a knowledge-based economy. Masdar is responding to the UAE’s call for water security by pioneering initiatives at the water-energy nexus, leveraging our established expertise in clean energy to develop solutions that will help our nation meet our water needs in the most sustainable ways possible,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. To mark the ‘World Water Day’, leading corporate brand Colgate has announced the launched of its ‘Save Water’ campaign across the UAE. This initiative aims at reminding people of the need to save water by adopting water-saving tips in our daily lives. “Water is required in almost every phase of the product life cycle, from sourcing raw materials, to producing products, to consumer use of products. We also recognise that while clean water is vital to the communities we serve, it is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in many regions of the world,” says Scott Geldart – Vice President and General Manager Colgate Palmolive North Africa Middle East and French Overseas Territories. “As part of our global water conservation efforts, we launched the ‘Save Water’ television commercial to encourage consumers across the UAE to make every drop of water count,” stated Geldart.

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