Sunday, October 2, 2016

Responsible Consumption and Production of Water, A Panel Discussion by EEG

EEG Panel for Responsible Consumption and Production of Water
Last Thursday, 29th Oct I attended a knowledgeable panel discussion organized jointly by EEG (Emirates Environmental Group) and Arabia CSR Network in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and supported by Emirates Green Building Council.

The session was held under the overarching theme of Sustainable Consumption and Production”, which is Goal number 12 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Representatives from Ministry of Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, ICBA, Metitio and Interserve formed the panel to delve deeper into the Sustainable Consumption and Production of water. The Ministry of Energy in the UAE was represented by Mrs. Fatma Mohammed Alfoora Alshamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity, Clean Energy and Desalinated water. Ms Alshamsi stimulated the audience with a discussion on the current pressing environmental realities such as the depleting resources of water left for human consumption. She shed light on the role of the ministry in ensuring safe and clean water for all. She also shared details about the initiatives and projects carried out by the Ministry within the domain of clean energy and desalinated Water.

Mr. Naser Lootah, Executive Vice President of Generation Power & Water, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) highlighted the importance of water within the country and the Emirate and shared DEWA’s strategic direction in meeting the demand side management strategy which required the Emirate to reduce its Energy and Water demands by 30% by 2030. He shared some information about

Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi, Senior Scientist from Irrigation and Water Management, ICBA highlighted an option of using treated waste water for production of some vegetables.

During question answer session, I inquired if UAE government is planning to address issue of bottled drinking water anytime soon to reduce plastic waste and may be by making rule of cleaning water tank regularly for the property owners? Mrs. AlShamsi, Ministry of Energy answered it is very difficult to implement such law and monitor regular water tank cleaning in every property as it would required frequent audits. Mr. Lootah from DEWA reconfirmed the water supplied by DEWA is drinkable and added it is used by many people including DEWA offices for drinking.

The Vice Chair of EEG, Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Midfa, who moderated the event aptly summarized the core of Responsible Consumption and Production being in knowledge, understanding and responsible behavior from all stakeholders and the society at large.

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