Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group calls for innovation in addressing water resource management

ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, ADSG, a public-private partnership for the benefit of sustainable development, hosted today a Hiwar, or dialogue session, on water resource management and its implications for Abu Dhabi and the region.

The session featured high-profile speakers including Will Day, Sustainability Advisor to PWC and Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Dr. Adel Abdelkader, Regional Coordinator, Early Warning and Assessment, West Asia – United Nations Environment Programme, Khadija bin Braik, Head of Waterwise, Regulation and Supervision Bureau – Abu Dhabi, Dr. Mohamed Daoud, Water Resources Advisor, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Tanzeed Alam, Policy Director, Emirates Wildlife Society – Worldwide Fund for Nature, EWS-WWF.

Specific discussions covered Abu Dhabi s water regulations and monitoring, the importance of behaviour change and awareness to support the delivery of the Emirate’s water strategy, the essential role of effective stakeholder engagement and the role of the provision of essential data in the decision making process with regard to the sustainable management of water resources in the region.

“Participants in today s Hiwar highlighted the need for an innovative and multi-sectoral approach to address the risks and opportunities related to sustainable water resource management in the context of climate change and rapid urbanisation,” said Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director.

“Events like Hiwar demonstrate how knowledge can stimulate behavioural change towards a new water- aware culture.” The ADSG aims to support the Abu Dhabi Government Vision 2030 and the U.A.E. Government s holistic policy development approach towards sustainability under a common vision, U.A.E. Vision 2021 and the Green Growth strategy.

Will Day commented, “With dramatically increasing demands being placed on our planet s natural resources by soaring human consumption, few things are as important or precious as fresh water. The choices that we make about how we use and manage water, be it for food, energy, or for our own consumption, will be critical if we are to achieve sustainable economies and societies in the years ahead.” Dr. Adel Abdelkader, concurred, saying, “In order to address the water, energy and food nexus, we need to take an integrated management approach based on sound data and information, and citizen participation.”

Khadija Bin Braik added, “Understanding why, where and how water is used is imperative to the success of future water management strategies. Waterwise is working on projects that are primarily focused on producing tangible data that will help Abu Dhabi in developing solutions that will positively influence our future water demands.” Since it was established in 2008, ADSG has organised seven Hiwar sessions, which all helped to shed light on economic, social and environmental issues and their implications for sustainability in Abu Dhabi as seen through the perceptions of government, business and the not-for-profit community.