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Baseline Smart Irrigation Systems Within the Sustainable Cities of the Gulf and Middle East Region

What does it mean to be the first Net Zero Energy community in the United Arab Emirates? The Sustainable City in Dubai is a living example of how to reduce our energy footprint in a hot climate and avoid environmental pollution. It extends over 114 acres and harbors more than 2,000 (mostly native) trees. Despite the extremely arid climate, The Sustainable City (TSC) runs mostly on solar energy from carparks and rooftops. A flourishing and recreational farm runs the length of the city, forming a “Central Green Spine” with 10 biodome greenhouses and 1,000 square meters of open land for community farming.

Within The Sustainable City lies “SEE Institute”, the first building in the entire region aspiring to achieve net zero carbon. That means over its 50-year lifespan, the building will produce 300% of its operational energy requirement; all surplus electricity will offset embodied carbon and other emissions linked to construction and decommissioning.

Additionally, the city offers a mixed-use complex with retail outlets, clinics, offices, and a school. The Sustainable City’s 500 villas and 89 apartments are fully occupied, harboring 3,000 residents and creating 750 jobs.

Let’s explore how RADIUS implemented smart irrigation across The Sustainable City in Dubai using Baseline technology, which resulted in considerable water savings and operational advantages through advanced water management practices. All of that has contributed to serving the higher sustainability goal of the city.

A foundation for flourishing sustainability through smart water management

For any sustainability project, water is a cornerstone. But to save as much water as possible would defy the natural odds of the arid landscape in Dubai and the UAE.

There was already an automatic irrigation control system running through the Sustainable City in Dubai, but there were many red flags, including lack of proper system management, high water consumption, unhealthy rootzones and landscapes, and lack of any irrigation system reporting or visibility.

RADIUS, the Baseline distributor and service provider for the Middle East, came to advise Diamond Developers, the owners and developers of The Sustainable City, on how to help solve those problems. They proposed a Baseline system retrofit for a part of the city.   

Over the next several weeks, the various moisture sensors, flow meters, and other sensors started to report back to Baseline’s BaseManager, and the monitoring followed by corrective measures began to take place. This resulted in substantial water savings, healthier root zones, and better-looking landscapes, including sensitive rooftop gardens and shallow root zone planters.

A new era for water efficiency in the sustainable cities around the Gulf and the Middle East region

The meticulous planning for long-term irrigation is now paying dividends in The Sustainable City in Dubai. It’s been so successful that it has propagated into the currently under-construction Sharjah Sustainable City and will be implemented at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainable City, as per Diamond Developers CEO statement for the Gulf News.

Post-Baseline installation, The Sustainable City’s stakeholders noticed lower maintenance costs, 40% less overall water use, and a much healthier landscape. Thanks to the newly implemented flow meters and soil moisture graphs, operators can now ensure regular water output in landscaping practices like lawn mowing and plant watering. That is all at the users fingertips through daily system reports and interactive live maps with user-friendly colored hardware indicators.

The Sharjah Sustainable City is also off to a great start — RADIUS has successfully installed the full irrigation system from the infra works to the smart water devices and equipment. Sustainable practices are in place like: recycling community water to use for landscape irrigation, creating well-structured and textured root zones, selecting Emirati native drought-tolerant plants, using moisture sensors and weather-based energized smart irrigation systems, giving plants adequate spacing, implementing agricultural vertical farming, and recycling the project remains into flower pots and soil composts. The list goes on and on — to make The Sharjah Sustainable City a role model of water sustainability that follows in the footsteps of the Sustainable City in Dubai.

“It’s a green community with the lowest carbon footprint, thanks to a professional team of sustainability experts. If you happen to walk beside the recycled water lakes or around both cities beautiful Green Spines, you would realize that no sustainability details have been overlooked. Even the buildings and the villas have their windows oriented away from the UAE summer’s direct hot sunlight, which cuts further on cooling energy, serving the goal of a lower carbon footprint.” Fawzi Melhem, the founder and director of RADIUS noted. “The Sustainable City in Dubai has become, without a doubt, the first role model of sustainability around the region, and the newly built Sharjah Sustainable City now comes parallel to it, along with the other under construction sustainable cities by Diamond Developers. We are proud at RADIUS to play a humble role in helping them achieve water sustainability goals using Baseline Systems.”


  • 40% water savings
  • Healthier landscapes
  • Lower maintenance costs and less human intervention
  • High-caliber irrigation system management and operation
  • Instant hardware visibility and troubleshooting, including leak detection