The completed chapters have revealed that water is a natural resource that human beings and governments should use efficiently and sustainably. It is a critical driver of social and economic development in every part of the world. Water is also one of the resources that maintain the integrity of biodiversities and natural environments. The literature review section has indicated that challenges of pollution and quantity continue to pose numerous problems in the Middle East.
Climatic change also affects the amount of this natural resource available to many citizens in this region. Exploding population growth rates have also strained or maximized the demand for clean water. The purpose of this final chapter is to offer evidence-based recommendations for pursuing an appropriate Integrated Sustainable Water Resource Management (ISWRM) plan for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Countries that fail to implement appropriate initiatives and strategies to promote their ISWRM plans will be unable to achieve their social and economic objectives. The ISWRM concept focuses on effective measures and processes for promoting the management of land, water, and other related natural resources. The ultimate objective is to maximize the targeted social and economic welfare while at the same time maintaining the integrity and sustainability of critical ecosystems (Hornberger, Hess & Gilligan 2015). The UAE should implement appropriate policies and incentives to support the identified recommendations and eventually deliver positive results.
The first suggestion is for the government to implement and support green building codes. This model has been taken seriously in different nations to conserve water and other critical resources. Most of the buildings constructed within the past three decades have been converted in such a way that they support the targeted objectives (Gyamfi et al. 2013). This means that the UAE government has already completed implementing this recommendation.
However, evidence-based insights can be borrowed from other countries. For example, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is applied in the United States to ensure that residential buildings meet the minimum requirements for energy conservation, heating, and cooling. The UAE can consider these ideas to ensure that every structure follows a strict green building code depending on its intended use. Although the country has completed the development and implementation of specific codes for green buildings, there is a need for those in power to identify superior mechanisms for maximizing water conservation.
Modern technologies and innovations have led to the production of appliance systems and models for transforming water management practices. This achievement informs the second recommendation presented in this chapter. The government can formulate appropriate strategies to ensure that all private buildings and developments are fitted with advanced technologies for supporting water management (Ravishankar, Nautiyal & Seshaiah 2018).
The current situation is that the government’s decision to have similar systems in public or governments developments and structures has resulted in positive outcomes. If this proposal is to remain sustainable, the UAE government can go a step further to offer incentives and design attractive tariffs for the targeted owners. Various departments can be involved in order to deliver positive results (Russo, Alfredo & Fisher 2014). For example, sectors focusing on land use, water conservation, and sustainable building should come together to empower investors and guide them to embrace the proposed ISWRM plan. Appropriate tariffs will encourage private owners to focus on this recommendation in an attempt to contribute to desirable water management practices.
The third recommendation that can make a difference revolves around the use of powerful measures to raise awareness. As discussed in the previous chapters, the UAE remains one of the countries in the Middle East with the highest per capita consumption. This is a clear indication that more people might be unable to access clean water in the future unless those involved implement appropriate measures to deal with this predicament (Suh et al. 2014).
With this understanding, it can be necessary for the government to raise awareness and encourage its citizens to embrace evidence-based practices for conserving natural resources. This goal can be realized if members of the public are guided and empowered to promote best practices that can result in reduced consumption rates. The UAE can begin by examining the example of Germany. Jacobs et al. (2016) indicate that German Development Cooperation (GDC) has been making a positive case for managing water since it is one of the natural resources that can reduce conflicts and empower people to achieve their potential. By involving different stakeholders, the agency has created awareness and encouraged all citizens to attend various campaigns and seminars promoting the conservation of natural resources.
India is another country that has embraced the power of modern technologies to promote this idea. A new concept has emerged embraced in this country whereby farmers use their mobile devices to turn off and on their irrigations systems (Russo, Alfredo & Fisher 2014). This model has managed to reduce the amount of water different people waste. Bindra et al. (2014) go further to encourage governments to introduce water conservation as a core topic or unit for discussion in learning institutions. These measures can empower and guide more young people to minimize their water consumption rates.
The final recommendation is for the UAE to promote and support the use of Treated Sewage Effluence (TSE)/Recycled Water (RW) for irrigation in both public and private areas. As described in the literature review section, most of the municipalities in the country are currently using TSE to irrigate their fields and landscapes. The country can tap this potential to support its ISWRM plan. It should begin by implementing better policies to promote the use of TSE and make it a mandatory rule. Such an approach will create the best environment for reusing water and minimizing a wide range of problems, including pollution, droughts, and severe weather conditions.
There is also a need for proper policies and incentives for private citizens and developers. This strategy will empower them to utilize TSE for their landscape areas (Bielsa & Cazcarro 2015). The UAE government should be keen to develop appropriate laws to ensure that the quality of TSE produced is unified across all emirates to meet the required specifications for landscaping purposes. Relevant government agencies and researchers should go further to conduct numerous studies in an attempt to examine if TSE is utilized efficiently in all identified specifications or purposes. The UAE can also consider the case of Australia when implementing evidence-based policies for utilizing TSE.
In this country, there are policies and guidelines that all companies and municipalities should follow whenever recycling wastewater. The implementation of this initiative has resulted in a situation whereby every region uses TSE to irrigate farmlands, landscapes, parks, sports fields, parks, and racecourses. The use of this model will ensure that wastewater is recycled, therefore supporting the intended ISWRM plan. Similarly, different states in America have adopted meaningful policies to ensure that water is recycled to meet the increasing demand for natural resources (Zadeh et al. 2015). Gardens, landscapes, and parks have benefited from this idea.
The existing policies require that specific metal compounds and hazardous chemicals are removed from the recycled water. When the UAE government examines most of these case studies and examples, it will be able to improve the quality of TSE utilized in different landscapes (Saliba & Finan 2016). This model will make it possible for the country to manage most of its natural resources and realize its economic goals.
From the above analysis, it is evident that the UAE is yet to achieve most of its ISWRM objectives. Although there are various strategies and systems that are in place, there is a need to consider or study what various governments have managed to achieve within the past three decades. Leaders should also be keen to consider the role of modern technologies and use them to recycle contaminated water (Adams 2014). Similar notions can be taken seriously to guide more citizens and empower them to improve their water conservation practices or habits.
The above recommendations can make it easier for the UAE to conserve water since it is a rare resource. Such approaches will result in sustainability, address the major challenges many countries face, and make it possible for the UAE to achieve most of its social and economic goals. The targeted citizens or beneficiaries will also become empowered and continue pursuing their potential in life.
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