The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has completed the initial phase of its campaign to maintain the appearance of cities and to responsibly use natural resources by increasing groundwater efficiency in 2021 in the Al Dhafrah region through the Al Dhafrah Region Municipality (DRM).
Al Dhafrah Region Municipality (DRM) has implemented many programmes in accordance with GRI Standards and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to ensure the highest standards of sustainable development since 2020 with the aim of improving the region's vegetation by reducing groundwater usage to irrigate the trees and increasing irrigation efficiency in green spaces, mid-streets islands, and roadside plants using innovative methods.
DMT will gradually expand the successful sustainability strategy to additional cities within the emirate in a phased manner.
Seasonal irrigation tactics were introduced as one of the primary strategies, which resulted in a 75% reduction in irrigation water usage from the previous year's consumption of 16 billion gallons and will save 12.4 billion gallons every year.
DRM’s city beautification initiative, which aimed to create green areas in the region by planting trees at city gates, roundabouts, and traffic islands, used a range of local plant species which helps save approximately one million gallons of water per year. The local plant species cover a 58,000 sq m area under the beautification project, which includes 40 roundabouts and several traffic islands covering an area of 156,000 sq m.
DRM also removed 61,611 harmful trees from numerous communities across the region, as they severely impacted groundwater and had a negative impact on the infrastructural assets and the city's overall appearance. The removal of these harmful trees and replacing them with beautifying local plant species in these communities will result in the reduction of water consumption to 66 million gallons a year.
In addition, the municipality distributed 825 bags of seeds and 12,050 seed balls across 278 locations in Grand Baynunah and Qusahwira, covering an area of 2490 sq km and 5990 sq km, respectively.
19 groundwater wells near Jebel Dhanna and along the Ghweifat International Highway were decommissioned as part of the department's goal to boost groundwater consumption efficiency, while several others were only partially operational.
DMT covered 504 wells in areas where diseased and dying trees were removed as part of the beautification maintenance to keep up the city's appearance, with another 33 wells covered as part of its ongoing effort to conceal abandoned wells.
Water consumption of green spaces in the residential areas was 4.59 litres per square meter, a reduction of over 57 percent from the year's objective of 8.0 litres per square meter.
Al Dhafrah Region Municipality won the internationally recognized Green Apple Award in 2021 for environmental sustainability in processing and recycling agricultural waste, making it the first entity in Abu Dhabi to win this award. Furthermore, the municipality's efforts in seed dispersal and collection, increasing the production of dates, as well as its ability to provide shelter and food for wildlife in reserves, were recognized.
The municipality also received five in the International Green Flag Award, an international benchmark standard for managing outdoor recreational spaces and green spaces. The five parks that won the international award are the Public Goods Park, Al Mirfa Public Park, and the Northern Park in Ghayathi City in addition to Madinat Zayed Public Park Zayed Al Khair Park in Ghayathi City, who both won the green flag for the second year in a row.
The municipality was also commended for employing clean energy to reduce its carbon footprint.
Department of Municipalities & Transport and affiliated entities’ efforts continue to win international awards in various fields.