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The UAE is famous for its luxurious cities filled with lavish resorts, shopping malls and theme parks. According to the Federal Water and Electricity Authority (Fewa), the international recommended use of water is 170 to 300 litres a day, but the UAE has gone beyond that.
Over the last decades, water demand in the country has been driven by population growth. Lifestyle changes have also affected human consumption especially in commercial establishments. It has been forecast that by 2030, desalinated water consumption will double.
As a solution, water resource management entities have been engaged to create regulations that will help conserve water in the country. Hotels, office buildings, sports complexes, retail outlets and institutional centres are requested to commit to several water-savings plans. Abu Dhabi, for instance, has increased its tariff for water and electricity across all sectors starting January to encourage all to minimise consumption.
Some effective ways by which offices and commercial establishments can conserve water are through the following:
• Low-flow plumbing fixtures – Sink faucets, toilets and showerheads with low-flow features utilise less water. Building operations teams should make periodic adjustments and regularly check all units.
• Grey water treatment – The process of treating utilized bath, kitchen and laundry water (excluding toilet wastes) in commercial settings then reusing it instead of simply piping it into a sewage system.
• Pressure reduction – The use of additional pressure-reducing valves in buildings helps maintain water supply in high-rises.
• Leak proofing/leak repair – This reduces damage and water wastage. Proactive approaches, proper preventive measures and quick fixes by the maintenance staff are necessary for water conservation.
• Educating users – Keep consumers aware about water scarcity issues and new technologies that use less water to prevent the dwindling of fresh water resources.
• Grey water treatment benefits on water's capacity to be reused
• Educate users on how to conserve or reuse water within facilities
• Install low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water consumption
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Source: Cleofi-Krista Capili, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer