DEWA highlights water sustainability at Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum

Press release
Published November 13th, 2012 - 04:44 GMT
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

During the third session of The Emirati-Swiss Friendship Council held at the Almas Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, said that DEWA remains focused on the sustainability of its resources in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

DEWA is focusing on resources sustainability and has revised its strategy this year to achieve its vision to be ‘A Sustainable World-Class Utility,’ to achieve Dubai’s strategy to support sustainable development, as per its motto, ‘For Generations to Come.’ This has set the tone for a corporate-wide sustainability strategy to meet today’s needs without compromising the requirements of future generations.

The third session of The Emirati-Swiss Friendship Council is being held in the presence of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan and Pascal Couchepin, Former President of Switzerland and other sheikhs and dignitaries.

“One of DEWA’s most important objectives is the reduction of unaccounted-for-water, which had reached unacceptable levels.  Accordingly, an internationally-experienced consultant was assigned to assist our team in the analysis of the root causes of the problem, and then recommend the necessary steps to solve this problem. The result of the extensive survey of the entire system showed that 24 percent of the water was wasted due to leakage. This was mostly in the house-connection plastic pipes and old cast-iron fittings in the transmission and distribution system. 12 percent was due to inaccurate water meters, 2 percent was due to unmetered connections, and 2 percent due to operational flushing of the system.  Accordingly, the project was awarded to rectify these defects to several contractors, to save time and distribute the work load, due to the geographic nature of the work, which of course covers the entire water network,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA.

“As a result, we have replaced all the cast-iron fittings with glass-reinforced fiber fittings. Furthermore, all house connections now have been replaced with newly-upgraded polyethylene pipes. All meters have been replaced with new ones and old meters have been removed, reconditioned and tested. The comprehensive survey has also eliminated all the unmetered connections and new meters have been installed. 

As a result of these projects, we managed to bring unaccounted-for-water from 40 percent to 15 percent in a total of five years, and thereafter we continued this throughout the development of DEWA’s water network, which has further decreased unaccounted-for-water, to 11.26 percent as of mid-2012,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA invested about AED 450 million on these projects, which has resulted in savings of over AED 6 billion which is equivalent of the cost of water saved. With this achievement, we have put a very challenging target to further bring down the unaccounted-for-water to 6 percent by 2016 and to do so; an action plan has been established with the required budget, which consists of the following objectives.”

“The First Objective is to replace all the existing mechanical meters with new intelligent meters that are more accurate and subsequently so is our billing, which will enhance our customer services, as this provides online monitoring of customers’ consumption. This enables DEWA to notify customers if there are any signs of abnormal consumption, as compared to their average consumption.”

“The Second Objective is the establishment of a District Metering System for every community connected to our SCADA System. This will provide continuous monitoring of overall consumption by our consumers, when compared with the consumption of the main meter for each district. This will help to rapidly identify any leakage in the distribution system and therefore arrest any leakage as soon as it occurs.”

“Furthermore, we will continue our extensive conservation campaign to the general public. This is taking place at different levels from students up to our customers, where we highlight the importance of this precious resource, and how everyone can share the responsibility towards water sustainability, both now and for generations to come,” concluded Al Tayer.

Participants in the meeting and the workshops to follow will discuss ways of finding new methods to conserve water for coming generations as well as how to maintain water sustainability as one of the biggest challenges at local, regional and international levels for all people.

Background Information

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was formed on 1 January, 1992, by a decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum to take over and merge the Dubai Electric Company and the Dubai Water Department that had been operating independently for several years until then.

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