DUBAI: Water security is a global issue that all countries must get ahead of, Dubai’s Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) chief executive Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer warned on Monday, as he laid out Dubai’s 2036 plan for tackling the challenge.
Currently there are two billion people around the world who lack access to safe, clean, drinking water, while a shortfall of 40 percent is forecasted between water supply and it’s demand in 2030, the CEO said.
“We seek to make Dubai a global model for clean energy and green economy by adopting the technologies of the fourth Industrial Revolution and disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence, unmanned aerial vehicles, energy storage, and blockchain,” Al-Tayer said at the opening session of the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai.
“The UAE has a holistic vision of water security and water management, utilizing the latest innovative solutions to reduce water consumption,” he added.
Al-Tayer laid out initial framework for the strategy and DEWA’s achievements in making use of every drop of water in the Dubai, with specific forecasts and points for the emirate that will begin witnessing change as early as end of 2019.
“In Dubai we adopt three pillars to ensure the sustainability of water production - these are based on using clean solar energy to desalinate seawater using the latest reverse osmosis technologies,” Al-Tayer said, adding that “excess water is stored in aquifers and pumped back into the water network when needed.”
About 800,000 water meters across the Dubai are set to be replaced with smart water meters by the end of 2019, as the emirate “strives to provide infrastructure through sophisticated systems to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.”
“In 1992, the installed capacity was 65 million gallons of water per day. Today, in order to keep pace with the growing demand and prosperity of the emirate, DEWA's installed capacity is 470 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD),” Al-Tayer said, while also pointing out that groundwater consumption for drinking water purposes dropped from 100 percent in 1990 to 0.4 percent in 2019.
In addition to water security, DEWA’s CEO spoke of Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Green Dubai strategy, which aims to reduce 43 billion ton of carbon emission by 2030, saving over $3.5 billion in the process.
DEWA’s plan would raise the level of efficiency and effectiveness, achieve economic saving and finally integrate electricity generated from solar power, as the authority works “to become the world's first digital organization with renewable energy control systems.”