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Global study on the state of water stewardship reveals consumer concern for the world’s water

  • Global study on the state of water stewardship reveals consumer concern for the world’s water
  • Ecolab Watermark™ Study includes insight into UAE’s awareness on water scarcity and growing sense of urgency on actions that need to be taken. 

About the entity

Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. Every day, we help make the world cleaner, safer and healthier – protecting people and vital resources.

Ecolab, a global sustainability leader offering water solutions and services, announced key UAE findings from its inaugural Ecolab Watermark™ Study. The study reveals UAE consumers’ attitudes towards climate change and water, highlighting a growing sense of urgency regarding water safety, conservation, and the need for industry to accelerate sustainability measures.

By 2030, the planet is set to face a 56% water deficit, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), and 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water, according to the United Nations. The Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region has been recognized as the most water-stressed region in the world, with some 83% of the region's population exposed to water stress caused by climate change. (WRI)

Ecolab’s Watermark Study, which measures the state of water stewardship through water’s importance, usage, connection to climate and responsibility among key consumer populations, highlighted several concerns in the UAE:

  • 79% of UAE consumers believe manufacturers/ businesses lack clear guidance and/or plans to combat water scarcity
  • 73% of UAE consumers list clean and safe water as a significant environmental concern
  • 67% of UAE consumers believe clean and safe water will be an issue within the next 5 years
  • 84% of UAE consumers agree that water scarcity can be effectively addressed 

Stefan Umiastowski, Ecolab’s Senior Vice President & Market Head India, Middle East and Africa said: “At the heart of the climate crisis is water. The way we experience the effects of climate change is through water. This has broad implications not only for business but also for the communities where we live. As we continue our work to transform the way the world thinks about water, the results from Ecolab’s Watermark Study should galvanize leaders to assume a larger role in protecting this precious and finite resource. The UAE government has taken a proactive stance in leading the way toward responsible water management, particularly in a region that faces unique challenges due to its limited freshwater resources.

In preparation for its role as host of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a discussion paper, 'Ripple Effect Water Scarcity,' urging a coordinated international response to this pressing issue. This paper explores the root causes and implications of water scarcity worldwide, proposing solutions, such as bolstering domestic water conservation and fast-tracking the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036.

By focusing on water and consumer perceptions of the ongoing crisis, Ecolab’s Watermark Study provides insights on where and how stakeholders—whether government, businesses, NGOs or even individuals—can work together to successfully address critical global challenges.

“The insights drawn from the Ecolab Watermark Study reinforce the imperative of fostering cooperation between the private and public sectors to address global water challenges effectively. The good news for industry is that meeting this responsibility will not only deliver positive sustainability but tangible business outcomes too.Through the study, we hope to encourage, educate, and inspire others to take action and protect this vital resource,” Umiastowski added.

A trusted partner for millions of customers, for over 100 years, Ecolab has been delivering the industry’s most innovative science-based solutions, data-driven insights and service to improve operational efficiencies and sustainability. In 2020, Ecolab became a founding member and co-chair of the Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-led initiative of UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

The Ecolab Watermark Study was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult in 2023 among a sample of general population adults. Ecolab will update and release new editions of its Ecolab Watermark™ Study.

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