Sponge Cities garners interest at Innovation Week

Dake Rechsand showcases potential


A Staff Reporter

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Eng Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of Financial Sustainability and Investment, and MOEI members, visiting Dake Rechsand Sponge City Demo. - Supplied photo
Eng Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of Financial Sustainability and Investment, and MOEI members, visiting Dake Rechsand Sponge City Demo. - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 11 Mar 2023, 6:30 PM

Sponge cities’ ability to mitigate floods and address water scarcity was showcased by promoter Dake Rechsand at the Innovation Week, leading to support from key stakeholders across public and private sectors

Dake Rechsand, the Dubai-based company specialising in sustainability solutions for desert farming and water conservation, showcased the potential of sponge cities in mitigating floods and addressing water scarcity — two utmost priorities for the UAE. Sponge Cities, promoted by Dake Rechsand through its proprietary IDer range of solutions, was presented at the Innovation Week hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI).

Sponge City is a new urban development model aimed at creating sustainable and resilient urban environments through permeable roads, honeycomb water storage, rain gardens, and groundwater recharging. Such technologies manage stormwater and reduce runoffs, thus alleviating flooding and stormwater pollution, besides improving water quality and security and increasing green spaces. Today, when there is a need to integrate the blue (water), green (plants, trees, etc.), and grey (sewers, canals, etc.) infrastructures, the case for adopting an interdisciplinary solution such as Sponge Cities is compelling.

“We are continuously seeking innovative solutions that address our day-to-day challenges and public demands. At the Innovation Week, we had the chance to explore innovative solutions, such as Sponge City, which has the potential to improve the safety and quality of public facilities and infrastructure while enhancing response to emergencies and incidences throughout rainy seasons,” noted Eng Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of Financial Sustainability and Investment, MOEI.

At Innovation Week, key stakeholders from the public and private sectors caught a glimpse of the possibilities that Sponge City can unlock. Following his observations, Dr Alaeldin Idris, Water Resources Expert, MOEI, said, “I haven't come across innovation like this in many years. Sponge Cities are an amazing solution to harvest rainwater and support irrigation. Additionally, its filtration and redirection capabilities translate to efficient greywater management.”

Al Hammadi said: “Sponge Cities’ can be so beneficial to the UAE because of their viability for the 3Rs: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The solution can meaningfully contribute to the UAE’s water-security efforts.”

The demonstrable impact has encouraged Dake Rechsand to partner and collaborate with government entities, developers, and corporates across the seven Emirates to achieve national-level sustainability and climate action goals.

Chandra Dake, CEO of Dake Rechsand, said: “My sincere gratitude to MOEI and the UAE leadership for facilitating avenues to showcase innovations, strike partnerships, and collaborate for the common good.” As a testament to its work, Dake Rechsand was featured in the ‘Green Technology Book 2022: Solutions for Climate Change Adaptations’, a report released on the back of COP27.

The sustainability champion is ramping up its efforts in light of the upcoming UAE-hosted COP28. Dake Rechsand has expanded its global presence, recently making a foray into the US by partnering with Donald V. Watkins, an impact-led entrepreneur. As part of the partnership, Dake Rechsand will support the greening of four desert regions in the US, keeping the empowerment of Native American Tribes paramount.

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