In an effort to address the pressing issue of scarce water resources in the Middle East, ALDAR are working with EPIC Green Solutions, a UAE-based international water management solutions company specialising in highly efficient sub-surface irrigation and drainage systems, to set up a demonstration site at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The demonstration plot, provided by ALDAR has allowed EPIC Green Solutions to showcase the EPIC (Environmental Passive Integrated Chamber) system’s water saving capabilities of up to 80%.
Holding the world-wide rights to the EPIC system, EPIC Green Solutions provide sustainable water solutions for urban landscapes, green roofs and parking areas, golf and equestrian facilities and most notably, advanced methods for highly-efficient water usage within the agriculture sector.
The company’s innovations and patented applications have been independently tested and proven at various reputable locations around the world. Locally, water saving capabilities have been previously verified at a demonstration site on Al Sammaleah Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which compared the sub-surface EPIC system to a conventional top-surface irrigation system. Data showed a 80% savings of water compared to the traditional system. This was also the first site in the region to utilise sea water in an EPIC system installation.
Results from the Yas Island plot which have been collected to date convey similar results as data shows the average consumption of the various plants has been 2.46 liters a day per square metre as compared to the 12-14 litres a day per square metre that would normally be consumed using traditional irrigation systems. Water usage and foliage growth will be monitored on a regular basis.
The demonstration site will also illustrate the dynamic capabilities of the EPIC system to utilise treated sewage water and seawater to irrigate a wide variety of vegetation including grass, ground covers, bushes, flowers and trees. This is made possible through the non-clogging distribution pipe that allows for the use of various forms of water to irrigate, rather than sole reliance on fresh water.
Charlie Fleifel, Chairman & CEO of EPIC Green Solutions, commented, “The growing desire for the ultimate ‘green city’ must come coupled with an equal conviction for sustainable steps to reach this desired outcome, especially when taking into account that irrigation is by far the largest use of water around the world.”
The increased attention towards water conservation is even more evident in the region as relayed by Estidama’s regulations which place ‘precious water’ as one of the six main categories. Estidama is a government initiative that was developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, and is a vision for achieving a sustainable way of life in the Middle East. The Pearl Rating System for Estidama recognises developers who pursue a higher level of green building based on the pillars of sustainability, one of which is water savings. Innovations and technologies that can help to reduce water usage in developments are a key factor to earn a higher rating for a project.
“The EPIC system is an innovative technology that is revolutionising conventional approaches to irrigation by providing solutions that are cost effective, sustainable, profitable and instrumental in addressing water scarcity in the region,” said Bart Rehbein, Managing Director of EPIC Green Solutions.
The Test plots demonstrate a variety of conditions in order to find solutions that will allow developers to implement significant areas of green space while still aligning with sustainable water principles that respect water scarcity in the region
Geoff Turnbull, Planning and Landscape Architecture Representative for Aldar commented, “We are proud to join forces with EPIC Green Solutions to find sustainable solutions to better manage scarce water resources in the region. This initiative aligns with Aldar’s continuing efforts to promote green technologies that meet the long-term demands of Abu Dhabi and demonstrate performance that blend functionality, environmental demands and aesthetics.”