The call comes at a time when
Dubai's explosive population growth
and heightened commercial and
industrial activities have placed an
unprecedented strain on the
emirate's electricity and
resulting in power outages and water
Khaled Bushnaq, Managing Director, Energy Management Services said:
'Dubai is today the regional hub for commercial, industrial, trade and leisure activities. This has resulted in a huge spurt in economic activities and led to a massive influx of residents, investors and tourists, that places an ever-increasing burden on electricity and water supplies and the environment.'
'This, coupled with rising costs of fossil fuels and heightened environmental concerns, makes it important to ensure judicious use of resources and prevent wasteful consumption, particularly in the peak summer season. We therefore urge the authorities in Dubai to launch an intensive awareness campaign this summer to educate the public about water and energy-saving practices. Reduction in energy consumption will not only result in significant cost savings to the government and consumers, it will also help in conserving valuable resources that are required for power generation and water supply,' he added.
As per last available official figures, residential consumers made up 65 per cent of the total 281,353 consumers registered with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority [DEWA] in 2004, generating a demand for 5,120 Gigawatt Hours [GWh] that accounted for 31 per cent of the power consumed. The second major group are commercial customers comprising of 32 per cent of the total number of consumers and responsible for 41 per cent or 6,680 GWh of the total power consumed.
Similarly, demand for water during the peak season rose by ten per cent to touch 184 MIGD [million gallons per day] in 2004. Most of this demand came from Dubai's residents who comprised a majority 79 per cent of DEWA's 226,007 customers and accounted for 61 per cent or 32,618 MIG of the water consumed. Commercial establishments, who make up 20 per cent of the Authority's customer base, accounted for 22 per cent or 11,809 MIG of the water consumed.
Industry data reveals that demand for desalinated water has grown in the rapidly developing Arab region at an annual average of six per cent as compared to the three per cent global average, compelling governments to pump in an estimated USD 10 billion into ongoing and planned projects to boost capacity. But with a surging population and large-scale economic diversification across the GCC, governments predict a further investment of an estimated USD 100 billion would be required over the next 10 years to meet escalating demand for water.
'In such a scenario, energy and water conservation plays a vital role in environmental protection by slowing down the depletion of scarce, non-renewable resources and ensuring their availability for the future. This can be achieved through behavioural change, operational improvements and investment in new technology or better design for which an effective educational campaign that will increase public participation in adopting such measures is essential,' Bushnaq pointed out.