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As climate change exacerbates water scarcity problems in nations globally, reusing water is an adaptation measure worth implementing to increase water security. Some countries, such as Australia, Namibia, Singapore, Jordan, and South Africa, have incorporated such measures.
As part of its sustainability strategy, Dubai aims to lead the way as it aims to recycle 100% of the emirate’s wastewater by 2030.
Led by Dubai Municipality for over five decades, the target is part of a water reclamation program. Dubai has achieved a 90% water reuse rate to alleviate its reliance on desalinated water and groundwater.
Besides increasing water security, water recycling also saves the electricity required for energy-intensive desalination, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In the next seven years, Dubai aims to reduce desalinated water and related water consumption by 30%. “Dubai’s leadership recognized at an early stage that water conservation is key to ensuring sustainable development. Today, the recycling of water resources has evolved to form a key part of Dubai Municipality’s efforts to realize the leadership’s vision to turn the emirate into a green economy hub,” said Dawoud Al Hajri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.
He added, “Our city’s success in water reclamation demonstrates that harmonizing rapid economic growth with environmental conservation is not only achievable but also provides a strong impetus for further progress.”
The emirate uses reclaimed water to irrigate green spaces and landscaping, distributed through a network by the waste management and sanitation department of Dubai Municipality. The network stretches 2,400 kilometers and covers most areas of the city, and has facilitated using about 265 million cubic meters per year of water for green spaces.
Recycled water irrigates approximately 10,400 hectares in Dubai, including public gardens, green spaces, and landscaped areas in property developments. On average, about 22 million cubic meters of reclaimed water is used monthly for irrigation purposes in the city.
Between 1980 and 2022, the emirate produced over 4.5 billion cubic meters of reclaimed water, according to its release.
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