Future of Water Summit tackles water efficiency in the built environment – event underway

Eng. Faisal Ali Al Rashid, senior director demand side management, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy delivers the keynote address

The national importance of water efficiency in the built environment took centre stage as the Future of Water Summit (FOW Summit) got underway in at the Habtoor Grand Resort, JBR, Dubai;

The event has officially been endorsed by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and organised by Big Project Middle East magazine.

Eng. Faisal Ali Al Rashid, senior director demand side management, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy delivered the keynote address, telling delegates that the UAE was instigating policies at a local and governmental level as part of its drive towards decarbonisation, including being on track to deliver 40% of its desalination via reverse osmosis by 2030.

“Water is a precious asset,” he emphasised.

Other topics that the FOW Summit focussed on included: governance on water usage in the built environment and progress on regional water management strategies; strategies and tactics cities and structures can use to capture water from other sources (rain/humidity); enhancing water security; public and private sector projects to enhance water security (desalination facilities etc); technology that can boost water efficiency and conservation efforts; greywater reuse in structures; water distribution networks and technology to enhance their efficiency; wastewater treatment plants and sewage networks.

“The topic of water scarcity in the MENA region has been discussed extensively by the Big Project team over the past couple of years. We even debated whether we should include this crucial topic in our popular Energy & Sustainability Summit. However, after taking a deep dive into industry reports about the water challenges the MENA region faces, we felt that the topics of water scarcity and water security deserved an event on its own,” said Big Project Middle East magazine’s Jason Saundalker.

“Here are some eye-opening stats pertaining to the region: of the 17 most water-stressed countries in the world, 11 are in the Middle East and North Africa. The World Bank’s recent ‘Economics of Water Scarcity in the MENA region’ report warned that by the end of this decade, the amount of water available per capita annually, will fall below the absolute water scarcity threshold of 500 cubic meters per person, per year. The report also said that 14% of the region’s GDP could be lost due to water scarcity by 2050, and revealed that 90% of children live in high water stress areas,” the head of content continued.

“Millions of people in the MENA region are already affected by the water crisis today, and millions more could yet be affected, as drivers such as population and city growth, and climate change exert pressure on already strained water reserves. Taking all this into account, we decided on a broad agenda that covers as many facets as possible.”


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