Save water, stop catastrophe
This year's theme for World Water Day, 'Water and Climate Change', explores how water and climate change are inextricably linked
Water is our most precious resource - we must use it more responsibly. We must balance all of society's water needs while ensuring nobody is devoid of resources.
Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 12:33 PM
Last updated: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 2:40 PM
Access to safe drinking water is a human right that drives development. Adaptation is largely a matter of common sense; for example, we're going to be more careful not to waste water unnecessarily. According to current trends, by 2030, 47 per cent of the world's population will live in areas with major water problems.
As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and causes environmental damage to increase in many places. Solutions include the protection of carbon sinks, such as oceans and wetlands, the adoption of climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increased safe reuse of wastewater.
World Water Day, on March 22 every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year's theme, 'Water and Climate Change', explores how water and climate change are inextricably linked.
We must urgently invest in water and energy-saving efficiency and energy technologies and promote behavioural change that reduces water and energy demands in all sectors using awareness campaigns, changing regulations and implementing new incentives.
The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to ensure sustainability and continuous access to water during normal and extreme emergency conditions.
The strategy was developed from a comprehensive national perspective to cover all elements of the water supply chain in the country with the participation of all entities and authorities concerned with water resources in the country.
The UAE is among the top water-scarce countries in the world. However, the country has one of the world's highest per capita water consumption of 550 litres per day. The country is experiencing a rapid increase in population which has, in turn, resulted in huge demand for water.
Since the UAE is located in the desert, it has a very small amount of underground water. The demand for water in the UAE is estimated at 4.2 billion cubic metres per year. Since the UAE is located in the desert, it has a very small amount of underground water.
Because of that, the country has to rely on other water resources like desalinated seawater. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has developed the National Strategy for Preservation of Water Resources to adopt policies for rationalisation of water use.
The UAE's National Innovation Strategy puts water as one of its key seven pillars. As part of the strategy, the UAE aims to be as a global leader in rain enhancement science and technology and build up its credentials as an international scientific country and an innovation powerhouse.
Notwithstanding the challenges, the UAE saves no effort in expanding international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.
The UAE Water Aid Foundation is a non-profit organisation established to support international efforts to provide potable clean water to people in need around the world and to contribute to finding permanent, sustainable and innovative solutions to water scarcity.
The UAE Water Aid Foundation also conducts studies and researches in coordination and partnership with educational, academic, and international organisations to support water production using solar power, and contributes to financing and supporting water-technology projects to combat drought.
The campaign was launched to provide access to fresh drinking water for five million people around the world. The campaign, which was supervised by the Emirates Red Crescent, received an overwhelming response and was a remarkable success. It surpassed its targets, collecting over Dh180 million in 18 days, which is enough to provide water to over seven million people around the world.
Tips to save water
It is important to judiciously use water. To do so, everyone has a role to play, with every individual required to adopt significant measures to save even a single drop.
Keep a tap on leaks
. This is one of the best ways to control the unnecessary wastage of water. It is essential to prevent and fix the leakages from faucets and other homely water appliances.
Add aerators or flow regulators
. These are usually fixed at the tip of water taps. The main task of aerators is to ensure the same flow rate of water. It is advisable to add aerators into the faucet stream to reduce the pressure and save excessive water from flowing.
Use a high-efficiency washer
. Buying washing machines that are energy star-certified can help save water, as they consume 40 per cent less water than the other machineries. Also, using front-loading washers (as they require less water compared to the top-loading one) is also beneficial for water conservation.
Use a dishwasher
. Using a dishwasher will keep you from wasting a lot of water, as compared to washing utensils with your hands. Use the dishwasher once it is full of dishes, so that all the dishes are washed together. While buying a dishwasher, make sure to check the star energy rating; an optimal washer uses less energy and saves upto 30 per cent of the household water.
Water plants early in the morning
. It is recommended by experts to water your trees and gardens during the morning hours, when the temperatures are lower. This helps minimise water evaporation from the sun, and keeps the plants cool for long. This technique is also best for areas with dry climate. Also, use mulch for flower beds or pots to trap the moisture for a longer period of time.