UAE businesses urged to protect water resources - GulfToday

UAE businesses urged to protect water resources


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Emirates Nature-WWF has called on all businesses in the UAE to monitor their water consumption and support the preservation of natural resources by implementing the simple Alliance of Water Stewardship “how-to” guide on sustainability in the workplace.

The guide outlines the core elements that make up a strong and measurable water-saving strategy that can reap meaningful benefits for the nation.

By developing a water stewardship strategy that takes into consideration the role of water within an organisation, businesses can audit their current usage and develop a plan of action to manage water sustainably and responsibly.

In the UAE, water-saving efforts can pay off financially in as little as 1.5 years, and the five-step framework, developed by the Alliance of Water Stewardship, begins with the assessment of current water usage either through self-assessment or third-party auditing, followed by the development of an overarching goal and a tailored plan of action.

To ensure that the results are documented, the framework recommends measuring progress periodically and evaluating the performance, in addition to sharing efforts, results and lessons internally in the organisation.

Organisations stand to reduce their environmental footprint, safeguard local sources of water, increase operational efficiency, minimise operating costs and mitigate future water supply risks.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General of Emirates Nature-WWF, said, “Reducing the business footprint allows you to strengthen your corporate reputation amongst customers and colleagues while measuring and documenting water savings allow you to serve as a model for other organisations in the country.”

While a lack of resources, time, knowledge and dedicated water management staff can make it harder to get started, 10 per cent savings can be achieved simply by engaging employees in energy and water conservation practices.

The process of measuring and documenting water-saving initiatives is of vital importance and can be completed through another simple process, which includes drafting a situation analysis that captures the background of the organisation’s actions and providing an understanding of the breadth of their water-saving initiatives.

The next step suggests that the report should ideally begin with a baseline that reports the entity’s progress against key indicators. To ensure maximum efficiency for the coming years and to serve as a model for other organisations, the framework recommends capturing the key lessons learned.

Recently, The UAE Water Aid Foundation, Suqia, extended the deadline to apply for the second cycle of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award to Sep.1.

Applicants will compete to win US$1 million in prizes.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the award to encourage research centres, individuals, and innovators around the world to find sustainable and innovative solar-powered solutions to combat the global water crisis.

Supervised by Suqia, and under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the award has three main categories, the Innovative Projects Award, the Innovative Research and Development Award, and the Innovative Individual Award.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Chairman of the Suqia Board of Trustees, said, “This global award affirms the UAE’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, and the search for sustainable solutions to address the scarcity of potable water globally. This year’s award is particularly important during the Year of Tolerance, announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”

The Innovative Projects Award category targets private, government, semi-government, and non-government organisations. It has two sub-categories, the Large Projects Award with prizes totalling $300,000, and the Small Projects Award with prizes amounting to $240,000.


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