In the United Arab Emirate the average citizen consumes 550 litres of water per capita daily, which is three times the global average and quite high for a country located in the water-scarce Middle East. Despite this water luxury, many Emiratis are increasingly aware of the scale of the problem and in a recent survey carried out by Procter & Gamble and YouGov Siraj, worries over water shortages in the region are higher than they have ever been.
The survey found that 28% of Emiratis worry that limited natural resources will be a real issue for future generations and 25% of married couples with children in the UAE are concerned that there will be not enough fresh water for their children.
An encouraging 57% of Dubai residents reported that they take an active role in monitoring their water consumption and use only what is necessary. This illustrates a rising awareness among Emiratis and follows the recent announcement that 300 mosques in Dubai have been targeted to reduce their water and electricity consumption.
The ‘Green Mosques’ project, which is being championed by the ‘Green Sheikh’, aims to reduce consumption by 20% and save around 6 million Dh.
More worryingly, however, the survey found 24% of residents across Abu Dhabi and Dubai don’t believe their personal actions can make any difference to water consumption. This is a real issue when looking at water conservation as tackling personal behaviours is an important aspect of the saving water.
Jamie Wasky, Associate Director of YouGov Siraj, added: “Sustainability is a key issue in the region and this research shows there is an improvement in awareness but that there is still a long way to go in changing people’s perceptions on water and energy conservation.
“The survey indicated many people still do not believe their actions can make a difference. We look forward to repeating the survey next year and tracking the change in people’s attitudes.”
:: Image via Middle East Children’s Alliance.
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