The Significance of Domestic Water Conservation

The Middle East region is plagued by water scarcity and water management issues. Despite heavy investment in the water sector, water management remains a serious economic and environmental issue throughout the region. Overconsumption of water is a serious issue as per capita use of water in most of the Middle Eastern countries is several times more water than the global average. For example, on an average each UAE and Saudi Arabian resident consume 550 liters and 250 liters of water per day respectively.

On the other hand, per capita water consumption in United Kingdom and Germany is 150 liters and 127 liters per day respectively. These statistics are a grim reminder that excessive consumption of water must be curbed urgently in order to secure water supplies for the coming generations.


Water scarcity is a reality in almost all Middle East countries, be it arid Kuwait or green Jordan. However, most of the people are either unaware or have ignored this stark fact. High population growth coupled with rapid industrialization calls for a sustainable water use pattern in domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors. Domestic sector is responsible for one of the largest water consumption in the Middle East.

For example, in United Arab Emirates private households account for about one-fourth of total water consumption. Households use water for drinking, washing, air conditioning, gardening, landscaping etc. Due to rising water demand and dwindling freshwater supplies, domestic water conservation is an urgent need of the hour. Water conservation can help not only help in saving water but will also conserve energy required for desalination, wastewater treatment and transport of water.

Domestic water conservation can be used in all types of residential, institutional, and commercial buildings in the Middle East. Installation of technologies and products like faucet aerators, low-flow or sensor-based faucets, low-flow showerheads, low-flush and composting toilets, water-saving dishwashers and clothes washers can play a significant role in saving water at the domestic level.

Moreover, detecting and fixing leaks in water system, and ensuring operation of valves at the optimum pressure, can save good deal of water. Fixing leaks in pipes, fittings, tanks, and fixtures enhances the effectiveness of water-saving products. Pressure-reducing valves can be used to lessen the force and amount of water flows. However, different applications require different kinds of valve like ball valve, gate valve, butterfly valve etc. So make sure you are choosing the right valve to control the flow better.


Basis water-saving tips for a common man

To promote conservation, water supply should be metered and monetized. Monitoring and metering can increase efficiency of water distribution network and can provide accurate data of consumption level of a particular consumer. Removal of subsidies and appropriate pricing of water can be a powerful tool to enforce water conservation at household level. Pricing of water will not only help in improvement of water infrastructure but may also a strong message to the public that water has certain monetary value and should be conserved.

Providing subsidies on water-saving devices, like toilet retrofits, can be an attractive inducement. Encouragement of xeriscaping or natural landscaping can significantly reduce outdoor water use in arid climate, like that of the Middle East. Water conservation is often confused with reduction of water consumption. However, it also includes use of improved technologies and practices that deliver equal or better service with less water.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at or

17 Responses to The Significance of Domestic Water Conservation

  1. Pingback: Domestic Water Conservation in Middle East « Cleantech Solutions

  2. Kate Miller says:

    Hey Salman,
    This post highlights a very important issue that is often ignored in the United States. We waste millions of gallons of water every day along with all other energy resources. I liked the infographic in this post as well. I didn’t know that mulch was used to keep more water in the soil around your plants. Great tips that would be easy enough to implement. In my home we use a tankless hot water heater to conserve water and natural gas. Instead of wasting water while waiting for it to heat up, there systems deliver nearly instantaneous hot water. The savings are greater for natural gas, but they do help save water as well. Keep up the great posts!

    • Salman Zafar says:

      Hi Kate

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Water conservation can help our Earth’s water cycle by allowing the cycle to continue in its natural form. By abusing freshwater supply, we are pushing water cycle to its limit. 

      Best wishes


  3. tfortrees says:

    I can see why UAE is using more than double of Saudi Arabia, as I have seen lawns or gardens being watered during the day when the sun is scorching hot and also the fact that most of the water is going down the drain or evaporating into thin air. A total waste of precious natural resource, this is happening in Dubai and Abu Dhabi very frequently.

  4. Conrad Akope says:

    How can the world assist nations like UAE and the others who worry about water everyday? I can feel and imagine a life without water and is very sad. In Papua New Guinea, we have millions and millions of liters of fresh water flowing from miles and miles up in the mountains into the sea every seconds and hey what a big waste. This loss of good fresh water can be best fed into nations like UAE and others in the far East. Its the distance and cost we can worry today but we have to make wise decision today for the generations ahead. I can be contacted at: for a dialogue if the clue I gave interests you.

  5. Nadine says:

    Thanks for sharing your new article with me Salman. Water conservation is especially pertinent in Saudi Arabia as there are no naturally occurring bodies of water in kingdom, and most of the water is obtained through desalinization plants located on the coasts – another high energy consumption process. Education is key if we are to change how people currently think about and use water.

  6. Lia says:

    I’m not sure if you have ever watched the documentary Cowspiracy, however it states that 80-85% of the water used in the US is due to animal agriculture (including the water used to grow feed such as wheat and alfalfa to feed cattle/sheep/pigs etc in order to sell them for meat and dairy). There is no denying these facts. Only 5% of water consumed in the US is from domestic use, versus 55% from animal agriculture!!! These ideas above a good, but if you actually wanted to make a difference, the most efficient way would be to cut down on your meat and dairy consumption!!
    Just 1 kg of beef = a staggering 15,500 litres of water.
    Some food for thought that I have learnt recently and wanted to share because this is a serious problem

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