His Excellency Ghanem Mohammed Al Fendi Al Mazroui, the CEO of DED’s Support Services Sector emphasized DED's keen interest in contributing to and participating in all events relevant to environment sustainability through implementing and organizing environmental awareness and education events and campaigns for both its employees and clients equally.On the occasion of DED's participation in a number of environmental events in collaboration and coordination with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, HE said that out of DED's belief in the importance of the commitment to creating a sustainable work environment safe from the sources of hazard and pollutants, DED is working on developing and implementing a system and a manual for environment, health and safety management systems.
Out of DED's keenness on its participation with the UAE society in its events and activities aimed at environmental protection, is line with the directives and instructions of the wise leadership regarding the implementation of social responsibility in government entities and departments through participation in environmental awareness and education campaigns and achieving sustainable development campaigns objectives in the UAE, HE added.
Al Mazrouei pointed out that DED in Abu Dhabi and as part of its participation in the World Water Day hosted yesterday during the weekly coffee break session an environment expert on the Water Environment Day, and also participated in two awareness campaigns on the occasion of Earth Hour and Plastic Bags Combating Campaign.
For his part, Mr. Saeed Maktoum Al Qubaisi, Director of Public Services at DED said that the environmental events that are being organized by DED come as part of its commitment to working on creating a sustainable environment safe from sources of hazard and pollutants, and engaging all employees, clients and suppliers at DED.He also pointed out that DED has endeavored to incorporate environmental events and activities in its annual agenda in order to keep pace with all national events, campaigns and activities concerned with the environment sector. These events commenced this year with the implementation of a campaign under the theme UAE Free from Plastic Bags”, at the headquarters of DED in cooperation with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. During the campaign, bags, booklets and brochures were distributed in order to raise awareness about the necessity of using alternative recyclable bags in order to raise awareness level regarding environmental issues.
The Environment, Health and Safety Team at DED has collaborated with the Social Responsibility Committee to carry out an awareness campaign on Earth Hour event, where both teams launched an awareness campaign through emails in order to educate DED's employees and all clients about the importance of rational use of electric power supply by celebrating Earth Hour event with the rest of the world by means of switching lights off at DED and in their homes next Saturday between 8:30 -9:00 pm, he added,During the weekly coffees break session which is being organized by the top management at DED and in the presence of HE Mohamed Omar Abdulla, DED's Undersecretary, DED hosted Dr. Mohamed Abdul Hameed Daoud, Director of Water Resources Department at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi who made a presentation on the occasion of World Water Day, which is held this year under the theme Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.During his presentation, Dr, Daoud pointed out that according to 2009 statistics, the available water resources in Abu Dhabi comprise 63.12% of high saline ground water, 29.22% of desalinated water, 0.5% of ground water, while the rest is treated waste water, stating that there is 58% demand for water in Abu Dhabi for agriculture, 13.3% for parks and gardens, 11.7% for forests, 9.7% for houses, and 7.3% for business and industry.Dr. Daoud emphasized that the Abu Dhabi government is exerting efforts to face water challenges related to the regulatory, legal, and institutional aspects through developing a public policy for managing water resources, setting up strategic plans for water resources management, reusing treated waste water for agriculture, in addition to enforcing legislations, licensing and regulating underground well drilling (Law No. 6 for 2006 and its Executive Bylaws), and reviewing and updating legal and regulatory frameworks for water resources, if necessary.
The government has devised a system for granting licenses for underground well drilling, and identifying old underground wells in order to account for the water balance, and issue licenses for well drilling for some categories particularly new wells, replacing old wells with new wells, deep boring and cleaning of existing wells, registering and classifying consulting firms operating in the field of water, registering and classifying underground well drilling contractors, and compiling wells' data upon the completion of drilling and registering data in the database, he added.
The water expert also made reference to integrated water resources management focusing on strategic storage of water for emergencies by means of underground injection technique in the Easter and Western Regions, and the water supply emergency plan in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and desalination by solar energy for high saline ground water using membrane technology.
He also pointed out the demand system for water resources noting the use and rehabilitation of wild plants in the natural perspective, and city and streets landscaping, and the project on demand management for water and electricity in cooperation with Executive Affairs Authority, and the project for rehabilitation and use of high salinity tolerant plants and draught circumstances in agricultural and food production, and the use of sea water in irrigation.
In his presentation, Dr. Mohamed Daoud reviewed how to deal with soil and land uses through Environment Agency implementation of Abu Dhabi Soil Survey Initiative and the integrated project for survey of underground wells, land uses at farms, as well as assessment of soil salinity at these farms, and soil survey projects in the Northern Emirates in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Water, in addition to the role of the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Academy for Water.
Dr. Daoud has talked at the start of the presentation in the presence of officials at DED about the situation of water in the Arab and GCC countries, pointing out that there are 83 millions of the Arab population who have no access to clean water, and that 120 millions have no sanitary network, as Arab countries are classified as mouth and not source states, and suffer environmental problems such as environmental degradation, saline soils, and untreated waste water, while urban development rates are on the rise, and about 33 million people work in agriculture in the Arab region which import about 80 million tons of food from abroad valued at $24 billion.