Friday, July 06, 2012


I really get annoyed when I read local news reports related to water. Two of the most common ilk are:
  • Not enough water consumed by residents in the UAE, and
  • Too much water consumed and wasted by UAE residents.
It isn't the somewhat conflicting notion of not enough water consumption on the one hand and too much on the other. What annoys me so much about the first proposition is that it ignores the obvious fact that water is a substance found in some quantity in every beverage and food consumed.

So the oft-repeated mantra that people need to drink two liters of water per day makes no sense. The ridiculous article in the Gulf News today which has set me off has stupid people saying and stupid reporters reporting that these people aren't drinking any water--tsk, tsk. They are only drinking tea, coffee, fruit juices and the like. DUH... don't these beverages consist of water!

Grant it, the sugar or chemicals in soft drinks and other beverages may not be healthful, but to imply that consuming these beverages and even solid foods has no impact on the requirement of the body for water is bad science and just stupid reporting.

The same thing goes for the often repeated news about how UAE residents consume sooo much water, presumably the second highest rate of consumption in the world after the US. So, we all waste gallons and gallons of water in our long leisurely showers, in our swimming pools, washing our cars and in our gardens. Sure, some of the people here do that. But I don't think the hundreds of thousands of laborers here are washing their cars and watering their gardens.

Many of us, fortunate to have cars, get them washed in the parking lots of shopping malls by cleaners who use but a single bucket of water to do so. The vast majority of the population here have no gardens and many have to share their bathrooms with so many other people that they don't have the opportunity to waste time or water showering.

It isn't on average the population of the UAE who over-consume water. It is the luxurious hotels of which the UAE has far more than its fair share, the landscaping that keeps the large city parks and roadsides nice and green, the countless farms that are supposed to the make the deserts green and finally the massive amount of industry that makes the UAE a successful economy which consume so much water. The statistics have almost nothing to do with showers and car washes, but instead with these particular industries which are quite extensive in the UAE.

But no, the media either have no common sense or just like to brandish sexy headlines with nonsense reports of people not drinking water and wasting water on personal consumption.

I am not knocking the need for people to make sure they have enough water in their diets and also use water on a personal basis more responsibly, but the reporting on these topics is inaccurate and fails to clarify the issue.

To the media:

Stop saying people have to drink 2 liters of water per day, and just be more journalistically responsible and say that the body requires a certain quantity of water, which may be obtained from a variety of sources.