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UAE 2018 | ABU DHABI | COLUMN

TBY talks to Alan Thomson, Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), on the sector.

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How would you evaluate the approach of the average person to efficient water usage and how do you encourage a more conscious use of water utilities?

Most people do not think too hard about the utilities they use, including water. Concerns only arise whenever there is a problem in receiving the service. We still have an important role to play in conveying to people that water is a limited resource and that its usage has a huge impact on the environment. One of the ways to do this is to make water valuable to consumers by charging a realistic price for it. A cost-reflective charge makes people more careful about how they can stop wasting resources like water and power. We seek to get people to understand this through education and interactions with community groups. The increase in water tariffs has already resulted in a reduction in water usage, but the numbers still need to go down further. ADSSC's flow has dropped in the last two years, but it has been more due to the downturn in the economy than the reduction in tariff supplement. We also work with other partners, such as Masdar, to develop new technologies, reduce energy costs, and utilize any waste products that come out of the process.