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Fri 8 May 2009 04:00 AM

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Once in a lifetime…

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.

Once in a lifetime…
Abu Dhabi consumes 550 litres of water per capita.
Once in a lifetime…
A rapidly expanding UAE population means action now.

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.

Conserve Water

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

Landscape Sustainability

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.

Hardware and tech resourceAWMA

Design, manufacture and installation of aluminium and SS gates and regulators for flow control in urban, waste and irrigation water industries. Custom designed water control infrastructure and technology is manufactured to meet customer's specifications and industry standards. www.awma.au.com

Pump Engineers

Established in 1971, the company specialises in centrifugal pumps, double diaphragm pumps, air operated pumps, piston pumps, hose pumps, air operated double diaphragm pumps and desalination pumps for applications such as boiler feed, acid transfer, water treatment, mine dewatering, hygienic and sewage. www.pumpengineers.com.au

Rain Bird

The Maxicom2 Irrigation Central Control Systems is designed for multi-site commercial or industrial irrigation applications. Hundreds of sites and weather sources can be controlled and monitored from one location through telephone, cellular modem, radio (450-470 MHz), spread spectrum radio (900 MHz), direct cable connect, short-haul modem, fibre-optic modem, ethernet device server, Wi-Fi device server, or fibre-optic device server communication.

Automated ET based irrigation control and the most flexible scheduling system allows control of multiple sites to exact specifications, making it ideal for municipalities, school districts, home owners associations, and park and recreation departments. www.rainbird.com

Sadot Irrigation Systems

Sadot Irrigation Systems is the manufacturer of the Shibolet irrigation and fertigation platforms for greenhouse and net-house applications. It is the source for irrigation systems, fertigation systems, filtration and control systems for agricultural, landscape and turf and sports applications. www.sadot-irrigation.com

HydroPoint

Drawing on information delivered wirelessly from 40,000 weather stations, the WeatherTRAK ET Everywhere service automatically schedules irrigation based on individual landscape needs and local weather conditions. The result is higher property values, lower water bills and a healthier environment. www.weathertrak.com

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