EnvironmentEN2CRaise public awareness on the rational use of water
Environmental regulators are usually required to promote relevant information on water conservation and protection to consumers, so that they are aware of government strategies and are encouraged to use water rationally.
Environmental regulators perform this task alone or in coordination with economic regulators, with the aim of supporting consumers in decreasing their water bills.
This is achieved through different water saving awareness campaigns, often merged to increase overall efficiency, are made available through web-based tools, media, consumer associations, and civil society.
- Water resources information is available and accessible to the public.
- Consumers are informed about government strategies for water efficiency and water conservation.
- Consumers conserve and protect water.
In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), runs an annual three month campaign called ‘let’s make this summer green’ to encourage the public to adopt practices to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.
This is part of the efforts by DEWA to engage customers and members of society in concerted efforts to preserve natural resources and encourage different sectors to adopt conscious and responsible lifestyles to consolidate environmental sustainability and promote sustainable development in Dubai.
The campaign includes tips to reduce electricity and water use such as regularly maintaining air conditioning units, setting them at 24°C, only using energy-intensive appliances outside of the peak load hours of 12-6 pm, cleaning and replacing filters, ensuring all doors and windows are closed to prevent cold air from escaping, unplugging electrical appliances; and irrigating plants and gardens in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation, and closing water valves before traveling to avoid leakages.
Internal capacities needed and the role of partners
Raising awareness on rational use of water needs the internal technical capacity to generate evidence of unsustainable use of water and trends, and communication capacity to be able to systematically package and share the information with the public to ensure positive behavioural change.
Development partners and national environmental authorities could provide technical assistance to regulators in supporting the development of water conservation strategies, including drawing from examples of successful consumer engagement approaches. Media agencies and civil society organizations could also play active roles in supporting regulatory communication efforts.