How did UAE students save “188m GALLONS of WATER”?

27 June 2019

Lab Chat

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has recognised the efforts of almost 30,000 students from public and private schools across the Emirate by presenting them with this year’s Conservation Award. Cumulatively, the students achieved never-before-seen reductions in electricity and water consumption, translating to financial savings of Dh24 million (£5.15 million).

The secret of their success was not down to any magic formula or trick, but rather the conscientious and consistent application of conservation techniques by 27,732 students in 459 schools across the municipality. Their efforts are testament to the fact that small, concerted attempts to make the world a better place can have a cumulatively monumental impact.

Doing their bit

The students recognised by this year’s Conservation Award were able to save a massive 34.2 gigawatt hours of electricity and 188 million gallons of water through improving efficiency and prioritising conservation alone. Small changes to their daily routine, such as turning off lights or taps when not in use, contributed to the incredible savings.

The impact of their efforts on Mother Earth will not go unappreciated, either. According to DEWA, their savings translated into 19,000 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide in Emirati airspace. And it wasn’t only environmental benefits that were felt. The fiscal savings were as much as Dh24 million, while the winners of the award themselves were honoured with cash prizes totalling Dh400,000 (£85,870).

DEWA’s big impact

Since its inception in 2007, the Conservation Award has recognised the environmental contributions of 180 schools and over 350,000 students. By encouraging a culture of conservationism in the young minds that will shape the country’s future, DEWA has been responsible for saving a total of 283 gigawatt hours and 1.698 billion gallons of water in the thirteen-year history of the award.

Those savings have reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by as much as 152,000 tonnes, equivalent to the absorption capacity of 175,000 trees. In monetary terms, those savings equate to approximately Dh192 million (£41.21 million). “At Dewa, we have an integrated strategy to encourage everyone to protect the environment and conserve natural resources,” explained Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, CEO of DEWA. “Our year-round conservation programmes include many innovative awareness initiatives and activities that encourage all consumers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in electricity and water use.”

Cleaning up its act

The success of the student campaign goes to show the progress being made in the UAE over recent years with regard to environmental awareness. By targeting the youth of today, DEWA has successfully won over the adult population of tomorrow, thus complying with the key objectives of the UAE’s Vision 2021 to improve sustainability across all sectors now and in the future.

As well as reducing water and electricity consumption, the country is also focused on other aspects of environmentalism, such as diversifying its energy mix, preventing sulphate pollution in its water, improving agricultural practices and educating its populace about the importance of a healthy diet.

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