GCC needs more to match Europe in water saving

Although awareness increasing, usage levels still far ahead of Europe

More needs to be done to reduce water usage in the GCC, Eric Kirwan says.
More needs to be done to reduce water usage in the GCC, Eric Kirwan says.

Despite the recent improvement in attitudes towards water and energy saving, a leading expert has called on the GCC to do more to match Europe’s commitment to water saving.

A report conducted by Booz and Company, a US global management consulting firm, has found that the GCC will not be able to sustain its current rate of water consumption, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia consuming 83% and 91% more water than the global average.

As a result, Eric Kirwan, the director of International Projects at Grohe Middle East, told MEP Middle East that there was still a lot more work to be done.


“I’ve seen a change (definitely), there’s much more awareness now and it (water saving) is being recognised, with first of all, international standards being used. LEED, from the US, is used widely across the Middle East. And then there’s ESTIDAMA, which is used in the UAE itself. The awareness levels are much, much higher (than previously),” he said.

“However, that’s not to say that there’s not much room for improvement either. In the GCC in particular, water usage in hotels, for example, are still far and away ahead of typical usage levels in Europe. So there’s still a long, long way to go,” Kirwan added.

As a result, he said that his company has been promoting the use digital technology as a way to increase the sustainability of a product. Through the use of this technology, Kirwan hopes sustainability uptake in the GCC will speed up.

“The technology is available, and we’ll be launching more digital products in mid-2012, which will capitalise on digital technology becoming simpler, more affordable and more intuitive to use,” he explained.

However, he could not confirm a definite launch date for the technology.

“I think what we’re really focused on is the user interface (of the technology), making it really simple, so that people actually use the products,” he added.

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