Abu Dhabi has the highest consumption of water in the world at 550 litres per capita, compared with 85 litres in Jordan, and is facing a water crisis of such magnitude that it will not be able to sustain current levels of use for more than 50 years. That 70 percent of all water consumed worldwide is used to irrigate landscapes and crops, the savings potential of installing, managing and maintaining efficient systems means water conservation is a burning FM issue. fmME brings you 24 ways to stem the flow and sustain the planet for future generations.
Abu Dhabi has the highest consumption of water in the world at 550 litres per capita, compared with 85 litres in Jordan, and is facing a water crisis of such magnitude that it will not be able to sustain current levels of use for more than 50 years.
That 70 percent of all water consumed worldwide is used to irrigate landscapes and crops, the savings potential of installing, managing and maintaining efficient systems means water conservation is a burning FM issue. fmME brings you 24 ways to stem the flow and sustain the planet for future generations.
That water is viewed by many in the UAE as a replenishable commodity, rather than a finite resource underscores the need for a change in habits and attitude.
A survey carried out by Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency found only 47% of respondents in the capital were aware that water is a finite resource.
Facilities managers are at the sharp end and in a great position to lead from the front when procuring, installing, managing, mantaing and measuring eco-friendly irrigation systems. The following steps to conservation; communication, education and looking to the future are the blue-print to eco-irrigation systems for facilities managers.
1. Install low-flow aerators, which simply screw onto bathroom faucets for ease of installation
2. Insert water displacement devices to limit the amount of water used in the toilet tank
3. Monitor activities with sensors, such as motion-sensor faucets and cooling tower sensors
4. Implement ‘dry' cleaning methods. Using a broom, squeegee or dry vacuum cleaner as dry instead of wet cleaning can save gallons of water a day
5. Reduce water pressure
6. Reset hot water thermostats to the lowest setting possible
7. Turn off hot water heaters while the building is unoccupied
8. Create a landscaping programme that makes use of indigenous plants and conserves water
9. Add composting to your landscape maintenance plan
10. Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses, which use less water than sprinklers do
11. Schedule an annual review of your property's irrigation system
12. Harvest rainwater to water your building's grounds
Reduce, Re-use and Recycle
13. Work with vendors who have recycling programs in place
14. Establish disposal methods to discard electronics and hazardous waste safely
15. Use coreless paper products
16. Ensure that your janitorial service uses green cleaning products
17. Ensure windows and skylights are clean to allow an optimal amount of natural daylight
18. Encourage tenants to turn off equipment after hours
19. Develop a recycling programme for everything (not just paper) - lighting, plastics, metal, glass and cardboard Communicate and Educate
21. Institute an energy awareness training programme
22. Encourage tenants to institute work from home policies to reduce workplace energy consumption
23. Create an electronic green newsletter to send to all tenants on a periodic basis
24. Encourage tenants and building personnel to utilize environmentally-friendly modes of transportation
Courtesy of BOMA/Atlanta's Water Conservation: List of Tips to Conserve Water and Save Money
Looking to the future
A survey carried out by the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi, found only 47 percent of respondents in the UAEs' capital were aware that water is a finite resource. Recognition of this is the first step in a process that can ultimately lead to the more efficient use of water in the UAE.
Addressing the world's water crisis is going to take collaborative effort by water stakeholders - in effect that is all of us. Efficient irrigation is the most viable solution and should be more widely embraced and more rapidly adopted. We see water being wasted Emirate wide - whether that's a miss-directed sprinkler tending the freeway rather than the verge, or unattended broken pipe work - policy makers from the government down should vocally and physically legislate for efficient irrigation systems before the situation becomes irreversible.
With this in mind, Abu Dhabi has conceived ‘Plan Abu Dhabi 2030', designed to help the capital respond to current and future needs through planning and guiding principals for development.
Estidama, ‘a vision for a sustainable future' was conceived to support the 2030 plan by monitoring, enforcing clear procedures, and clarfiying responsibilities.
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