Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.
The Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA) has prescribed ambitious targets to reduce water and power consumption across the Emirate by 30% by 2020. The initiative, which started in 2015, fits within the UAE's ethos of sustainable development, and will be primarily achieved through water re-usage and optimization of existing assets. This could make savings of 660 MW hours and 33 million gallons of water per day, savings that can be directly passed on to the customer.
As many know, the high amount of energy required for desalination and district cooling puts great pressure on Sharjah's water and energy consumption needs. Desalination accounts for 98.2% of water consumption in Dubai, with only 1.2% coming from natural sources of potable water, with similar figures expected for Sharjah. The UAE's per capita water usage stands at 550 litres per day; the same figure was reported in 2008, showing that no dent has been made in eight years. In comparison, the international average sits at 170-330 litres per capita a day. High energy consumption is costly, as the UAE remains a net importer of natural gas, despite having the seventh largest proven gas reserves in the world, roughly 3.5% of the global total. This is because domestic gas is injected into wells to reach higher oil recovery rates.
Sharjah's desalination capacity is increasing. The Hamriyah water and power plant is being expanded and the Emirate's desalination capacity will reach 230m gallons of water per day. At the time of writing, SEWA is in the final stage of selecting the project's winning bid. The plant will move from a simple to a combined cycle, where heat is reused for extra energy—this will add almost 200 MW of output. Peak power demand for Sharjah stood at 2,500 MW in the summer months of 2015, with this figure expected to rise 10% per annum. SEWA was having to import 700 MW of electricity from Abu Dhabi to service this peak demand. Hamriyah water and power plant covers over half of this output, with another two plants making up 1,800 MW of output. No new power stations are planned before 2020, thus the Hamriyah expansion falls inline with a wider policy of enhancing existing assets.
A recent report from the Emirates Wildlife Society and World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) showed that only 3.7% of firms in Sharjah had implemented water or energy saving measurements. This compares to 5.8% in Dubai and 2.1% in Abu Dhabi. The same report shows that the commercial sector accounts for 38% of energy consumption and 19% of water use nationwide.
The change that is being promoted is one of mentality. SEWA understands that water consumption will only reduce when there is a conscious effort from all citizens, residents, and workers to achieve the targets. Many of the programs that have been started were aimed at young children, and implemented within schools across the Emirate. The aim is to change practices through education, by changing approaches to consumption of water and power among the next generation.
In terms of changes that are being made today, SEWA, in association with Sharjah's Urban Planning Council, is implementing legislation to ensure that developers are creating sustainable residences and workplaces, thus tackling the issue at its source. For example, retrofitting is one way of incorporating more sustainable technology and systems into the energy infrastructure. One reason it hasn't taken off is the high price it comes at for the tenant or landlord. It is a cost that can be circumnavigated through more careful and regulated planning and results in 40% savings in terms of energy consumption. Forward planning like this will be the key to achieving the 2020 targets.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article