Top tips for saving water aim to change attitudes on consumption in the UAE


Turning a new leaf: As part of The National’s Earth Matters coverage, we look at some potential New Year’s resolutions for the UAE to help the environment, in a series examining meat consumption, water conservation, food waste and driving habits.

Two of the most simple yet effective ways to save water are to recognise its worth — and to listen to music.

A tip gaining traction to conserve water is to put on a favourite song while in the shower. This is a way to appreciate the length of time being spent and how much water used.

Every minute in the shower uses about 10 litres of water, so shortening a cleaning routine to the length of a five-minute song each day can save almost 2,000 litres of water a year — per person.

Conservationists say tips such as this can help reduce water consumption in the UAE, which has one of the highest rates in the world at 550 litres per capita. Added to that, producing water in this country is also one of the most carbon-intensive processes there is.

“These are very deep issues and the leadership of the country recognises it. Water efficiency was embedded in the culture of this country for a long time — water is life,” said Tanzeed Alam, of the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund. “Something has been lost in the development of the country that makes people waste water.”

Changing people’s habits are key, he said, as too is asking questions about how to save water.

Dr Mohammed Dawood, manager of natural resources policy at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, blamed the way of life in the UAE and the low cost of water for increasing usage.

“It is high because of many reasons: the standard of living is very high; there is indoor and outdoor use for landscaping; washing cars; swimming pools, the demand for this lifestyle creates an overburden of consumption in these areas,” he said. “Changes need to happen.”

Read more: Originally published on January 1st 2017.


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