How to save water in the UAE
Aref Abouzahr, executive director of Taqati, shares some simple tips to minimise water wastage in our homes
In a desert-like climate, it is high time we start reviewing and altering perspectives on the usage and management of water to ensure a water-secure future for generations to come.
As population grows globally, water consumption will constantly continue rising, requiring more focus on water consumption behaviours. A recent survey commissioned by Taqati, Dubai Energy Efficiency Program, prompted Dubai residents to share their perceived levels of consumption of water. It found that awareness amongst respondents is generally low when it comes to their consumption levels of water. The study revealed that actual consumption is more than double the perceived consumption of water! This indicates that one may often use more water than they actually need thereby causing wastage - which is detrimental to the environment and directly affects utility bills. The study reveals, more than ever, the need to nurture a water-conscious nation with sufficient knowledge and skills in conservation.
There are several ways in which individuals can contribute to the conservation of water. Here are some practical and easy ways to implement measures that everyone can apply:
. It is advised to regularly monitor your home water bill and meter - unusually high bills may mean that there are leaks that need to be checked and fixed.
. If a 1L bottle can be filled up in less than 10 seconds, the water flow is too high! Consider replacing existing kitchen and bathroom fixtures and choose ones with a flow rate of less than 6L per minute, or install aerators on the existing water fixtures to reduce the flow.
. The optimal lifetime of a washing machine or dishwasher is around 10 years. If the appliance is older, consider purchasing a new one and opt for a 4 or 5 star model (based on the Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority energy rating system).
. Cut down on the amount of rinsing before loading the dishwasher - most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes, pots and pans all by themselves.
. Opt for a short shower instead of a long bath whenever possible.
. Turn off the water tap when not in use.
. Place a plastic bottle filled with water or sand in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used in each flush.
. Install a smart or drip irrigation system instead of using manual hoses - this can save up to 50 per cent on water used for irrigation
. Water your garden at appropriate times - either before sunrise or after sunset. If the watering is done during the night, water evaporates slower
. Regularly check your home's irrigation system for leaks
. It is recommended to wash cars with a bucket and sponge, which needs much less water than using a hosepipe
Since the treatment of water requires a lot of energy and results in carbon emissions, saving water will also play a role in reducing our carbon footprint.