The UAE Money Expert’s Enormous List of Water Saving Tips
Water in the UAE is expensive and in scarce supply, making conservation an essential aspect of living here. Without proper water conservation, we risk higher and higher bills and—perhaps one day soon—a complete depletion of the water supply itself.
We’ve created this massive water-saving guide to help our readers cut back on water expenditures. You’ll find everything there is to know about water conservation in the UAE within this article. Everything from cutting back on water in our gardens (a whopping 70% of our water usage is in this area alone!) to ensuring we don’t use too much of it in our homes.
Before you start any water-saving habits, check to make sure there are no damaged pipes and/or defects in the home. An immense amount of water is lost every year because of broken or damaged pipes and leaky faucets. Compare your water bill with a neighbor to see whether your bills are outrageously higher. This might be due to either water consumption habits or a broken pipe/water leakage.
General Water Conservations Tips for the Home
Tip #1: Proper pipe insulation helps keep water hot. Use foam insulation to keep heat inside the pipes. You’ll keep the water hotter for longer, and waste less water during the heat up phase.
Tip #2: Purchase an on-demand hot water heater. You’ll save energy and water if you upgrade to a tankless hot water heater. These types of water heaters can quickly heat up water and only do so when you need it to.
Tip #3: If possible, relocate your water heater to the area where you need it most. This may be easier said than done, but having your water closer to where you use it most will eliminate the distance it has to travel and thus save you in heating costs.
Tip #4: Greywater is an untapped resource in your home. Basically, it’s all the water that “escapes” its purpose, so the water that gets away when you first turn on the faucet to wash some vegetables. If possible, put a bucket underneath this greywater and use it for other purposes, such as your garden.
Tip #5: Consider buying an inexpensive hot water recirculation system. These systems bring hot water from the heater to where it’s needed faster. It will even return water currently stored in the pipes that isn’t heated back into the water heater for reuse.
Water Conservation Tips for the Kitchen
Tip #1: Dishwashers are serious water-savers. It’s true! You may think hand-washing less of a water guzzler, but the truth is the complete opposite. Dishwashers are an excellent (and convenient) way to save water.
Tip #2: Forget about pre-rinsing. Pre-rinsing is an unnecessary step these days. Most dish soaps are strong enough to completely break down food, making rinsing a waste of time.
Tip #3: Wait until the dishwasher is at max capacity. Every single dish you can stuff in your dishwasher before a load will help cut back on water usage.
Tip #4: Use the trash—not the disposal unit. Or if you have a garden, use the extra food for compost.
Tip #5: Use your stove top or microwave to heat water. It’s not as fast as waiting for the hot water to come out of the faucet, but all that extra water you’re saving will be well worth it. If you want the convenience of fast hot water, get an instant hot water system installed beneath your sink.
Tip #6: Consider buying a faucet aerator. Faucet aerators can actually reduce water flow while keeping water pressure exactly as it is. Many modern faucets come with these already attached.
Water Conservation Tips for the Bathroom
Tip #1: Showers save heaps of water. A bath, on the other hand, consumes far more water and plenty of electricity to boot. It’s pretty amazing, but the EPA has noted that over 22 gallons of water could be saved by electing to take a 5-minute shower rather than filling up bath tub.
Tip #2: Time your showers. Your phone likely has a timer. Simply hop in the shower and get out when the buzzer goes off. A simple 5-minute shower uses just around 12 gallons. That’s a far cry from the near 40 gallons that are depleted in a 15-minute shower.
Tip #3: Find the right shower head. Low-flow shower heads can trim water bills back by 30% to 60% according to the US Department of Energy. Up to 3 additional gallons can be lost per minute with older shower heads.
Tip #4: Add a faucet aerator to your shower head. Yes, it provides just as much benefit here as it does on the faucet in your kitchen.
Tip #5: Toilets are HUGE water consumers. For starters, verify that all of your toilets are in perfect working order. First, have each toilet checked for leaks. A dye tablet placed within the toilet tank will determine if a leak exists or not. It’s also important to replace toilet flappers at least once a year. The best toilet flappers are adjustable flappers capable of adjusting flush volumes. Lastly, a fill cycle diverter installed in your toilets can take spare bowl water and add it back into the tank.
Tip #6: Turn faucets off when you’re not using them. It’s a simple tip, but it’s amazing how few people actually do this! When you’re brushing your teeth or shaving, only turn on the faucet when you need it. Don’t leave it on the entire time you’re performing these daily tasks.
Water Conservation Tips for the Laundry Room
Tip #1: Make sure your washer is full before you start the load. It will end up saving loads of water over the course of a year.
Tip #2:: You’ll save loads (no pun intended) with a high-efficiency washer. When it’s time for a full-blown upgrade, a high-efficiency washer can save on both water and electricity bills.
Water Conservation Tips for the Outdoors
Tip #1: Heat-resistant plants are a must for the UAE. It takes a resilient plant to stay alive in the Gulf region. Certain cacti and palm trees as well as bougainvillea come recommended due to their limited water requirements and resistance to heat.
Tip #2: Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation for the garden. You’ll waste much less water this way and your plants will still get everything they need.
Tip #3: Sweep your sidewalks and avoid using the hose. It may take a bit longer, but the amount of water you’ll save by sweeping your sidewalks will be immense.
Tip #4: Store rain water for other tasks. Rain is an uncommon occurrence in the UAE, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save it when it comes down. Use this extra water to keep your plants happy. You can even assign other tasks to it (like a much-needed car wash.)
Tip #5: The best time to water plants is after the sun is down. You’ll maximize your water usage when the temperatures are down.
Tip #6: Use mulch in your garden. It will keep evaporation to a minimum, which means more efficient waterings (and happier plants!)
Tip #7: Wading pools are far more water-efficient than a sprinkler for playtime. The kids will enjoy either one, so use the one that’s the most water friendly
Tip #8: Fewer car washes equate to far less water wasted. It’s best to take your car to an actual car wash, if only because it will save hundreds of gallons in water every time you do it. Car washes have systems build with water efficiency in mind. If you do it yourself, most of that water is lost for good.