x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

New taps to curb Abu Dhabi water usage

The emirate is aiming to cut water consumption by 52 per cent by 2030 with new water-saving fixtures.

Abu Dhabi plans to have traditional taps replaced with water-saving fixtures in order to cut down on water consumption. Ryan Carter / The National
Abu Dhabi plans to have traditional taps replaced with water-saving fixtures in order to cut down on water consumption. Ryan Carter / The National

ABU DHABI // By 2030, the emirate aims to have all taps replaced with water-saving fixtures in a bid to cut current consumption by 52 per cent.

According to the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the emirate uses 275 billion litres of water a year, of which only a third passes through water-saving fixtures.

Fixtures the QCC refers to are shower heads, bathroom taps, kitchen sink taps, bidets and hoses, urinals and toilet flushers.

Through promotional campaigns that began in October and will continue over coming years, the council plans to persuade residents and businesses into switching to water-saving fixtures.

Once all water fixtures are replaced, 64 billion litres of water can be saved annually through these six types of fixtures, which account for 90 billion litres of the emirate’s consumption a year.

“Most of the water in the emirate is consumed by farms, but still, 90 billion litres of water is a very significant amount,” said Salem Al Qassimi, acting director of product conformity at the council.

“Consumed through water fixtures, we can reduce that figure by 64 billion litres per annum. The project can reduce 52 per cent of water consumption in toilets and 15 per cent in showers and faucets.

“For example, a traditional toilet consumes 15 litres per flush while the QCC-approved flushes can consume only four to six litres per flush.

“It’s very important to reduce the water consumption in the emirate due to the scarcity of the resources, and it’s been the focus for the Government for the last few years.”

The water-saving shower, for instance, will use just 9.5 litres of water a minute, and bidets and hoses will use just six litres a minute.

A total of 100 applications for products were received by the council for certification from 10 makers, of which 48 were certified and the rest rejected because of non-compliance with the council’s standards for fixtures.

QCC has 28 inspectors who examine the various products in the market and ensure high standards are always implemented.

“This is a voluntary project and we are trying to promote it so that consumers can go and ask for sustainable water-saving taps,” said Abdalla Hassan Al Muaini, the executive director of the council.

“The quality is a journey; to create quality to the culture is a journey. We have taken the first steps and hopefully, with Abu Dhabi’s vision for 2030, we can achieve the goal.”

Last year the council inspected 35,000 products to ensure their compliance with its regulations and recalled more than 10,000 products from local markets, Mr Al Muaini said.

In light of these crackdowns, the QCC has seen more compliance from suppliers and makers.

In addition to the water-saving devices that it recommends, the council has other areas where it urges conformity.

Electrical appliances, window-safety devices and paints also come under its responsibility, and are able to obtain the QCC logo if they conform to standards.

Products such as children’s toys and vehicle tyres are also assessed by the council.

Residents can report any incident or injury caused as a result of faulty or unfit products, Mr Al Muaini said. “We will investigate and take action accordingly,” he added.

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council hosts the Abu Dhabi Quality Forum, a unique forum in the region that aims to tackle quality issues, on April 28 and 29.

The forum also seeks to enhance Abu Dhabi’s quality checking to position the emirate as a leading centre for quality and conformity.

It will offer a platform for regional and international industry experts to network and transfer knowledge, and to discuss global best practices and ways of developing solutions for a more sustainable future.

anwar@thenational.ae