There’s no better time than now to reflect on the importance of water in our daily lives as we continue to rely on access to clean water for survival. This year, World Water Day is focusing on the connection between water and climate change and the need for people to take immediate action to tackle the global water crisis.
At Arcadis, we’ve worked together with a number of clients on projects including KAHRAMAA and Masdar City over the years to address water supply issues through sustainable water management that can adapt and respond to change. In the Middle East, where harnessing water can be energy intensive, we need to be more considerate when it comes to how we use water in our projects, and as a result, some of the measures we’ve taken include:
In order to secure future water needs in the region, the support and involvement of local governments is crucial. For example, the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) mandated Estidama Pearl ratings system in all buildings, which is strictly followed in our Abu Dhabi projects. This rating focuses on water as one of the key components that contribute to sustainable developments. The Estidama rating system ensures reduction in water demand and encourages efficient distribution and use of alternative water sources.
Our contribution to the Middle East’s water projects
Climate change worsens water scarcity experienced by many around the world. UNESCO projected that by 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year, creating unprecedented competition for water. Countries in the Middle East have already launched several projects to address the growing water demand in communities, which include:
The issues surrounding water and climate change are big realities we are all facing today. The negative impact of these realities will continue to accelerate in the coming years if we don’t act immediately. In observance of World Water Day, let’s take note of what UN-Water wants us to understand: We cannot afford to wait, climate policy makers must put water at the heart of action plans; water can help fight climate change as there are sustainable, affordable and scalable water and sanitation solutions; everyone has a role to play, there are surprisingly easy steps we can all take to address climate change in our daily lives.
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