The Dubai utility is working to foster a culture of conservation.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) gave a fascinating insight into how it has been working to reduce power and water consumption in the emirate at last month's Wetex Exhibition.
With Dubai's demand for electricity alone forecast to multiply almost five-fold over the next 10 years, from 4736 MW in 2007 to 21510 MW in 2018, conservation has rightly been put among the utility's top priorities.
Demand management engineer, Ramadan Fatthy explained that DEWA has taken a multi-pronged approach to conservation, tackling energy and water usage by government departments, hotels and individuals, as well as encouraging the design of more efficient buildings.
Municipal buildings have been equipped with more efficient lighting and water flow reducers, and air conditioning settings have been adjusted, bringing a AED 21 million saving in power and water bills.
Since the start of this year, DEWA has written to 150 hotels, drawing their attention to the need to use resources more responsibly.
Studies by engineers have highlighted corridor and external lighting, air conditioning and the use of potable water for irrigation and flushing out swimming pools as the main sources of wastefulness in the hotel industry.
Fatthy revealed that one establishment alone was discharging 4641 m3 of potable water from its pools every day.
With so many doomsday reports warning of a looming energy and water crisis in the region, it was reassuring to hear that conservation is being taken seriously in Dubai. And efforts are already reaping rewards.
The decision to make thermal insulation of buildings mandatory from 2003 is estimated to have saved around 600 MW of electricity so far.
With air conditioning accounting for more than 50% of the peak power load, DEWA remains committed to making cooling more efficient, promoting the use of district cooling and recommending district coolers include storage plants in their designs to ensure chilling continues during off-peak demand times.
The utility also recently wrote to all district cooling firms inviting them to use treated sewage effluent in their cooling towers. But perhaps more importantly, DEWA has been actively trying to raise awareness of the need to use electricity and water more wisely in schools, government departments and through public media campaigns.
It has enlisted the help of characters Splashy and Sparky to ensure that the next generation grows up aware that electricity and water are precious resources not to be squandered. It is an example that all utility providers in the Middle East should follow.
Elizabeth Bains is the editor of Utilities Middle East.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.