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DEWA enhances water management and distribution efficiency through smart systems and innovative technologies

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) continues its efforts to develop its infrastructure in line with the demand forecast for the upcoming years considering Dubai’s demographic and economic growth. This aims to enhance Dubai’s position as a global city and a preferred destination for living, working, business, and tourism. DEWA’s current production capacity is 495 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water. DEWA is working to increase the visibility and management of the water distribution network and improve the automation and efficiency of operations and the reliability of water supplies.

This has consolidated its global excellence in water network losses through various innovative technologies and smart systems including:

Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) pipes

DEWA uses Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) pipes for water distribution, which offer many benefits including erosion resistance compared to traditional pipes.
Water Smart Distribution Management System

The Water Smart Distribution Management System increases the visibility and management of the water distribution network. It also improves the automation and efficiency of operations, and the reliability of water supplies and has consolidated DEWA’s global excellence in water network losses.

The Water Smart Distribution Management System has a centralised round-the-clock system for remote control and monitoring, as well as innovative smart equipment and systems. The system also uses Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) installed at interconnections between the transmission and distribution pipelines. These are connected to the advanced water SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) and hydraulic-management systems. The system improves fault location and isolation, leading to lower costs.

Water leakage simulator
DEWA has innovated an advanced, smart facility to simulate various leakage cases of water transmission pipelines. This allows evaluation, development and testing of new leak detection techniques. DEWA developed the facility using software and hardware, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing for complete remote monitoring and control of the facility. The facility includes smart transmission pipes equipped with sensors to monitor hydraulic indicators, collect data on water pressure, flow, and temperature, as well as control an IoT platform that stores data. The developed algorithm was able to identify leakage events with 94.4% accuracy.

Among the most prominent innovations by DEWA using AI to enhance efficiency of the water network is the ‘iService’, which utilises meter diagnostics data to detect service interruptions and initiate rectification procedures automatically; Meter Tampering and Fraud detection that is based on smart meter notifications; and the Hydronet project, that DEWA has developed to use AI and Deep Learning to remotely monitor and control the water network in Dubai. The project can be integrated with any SCADA system and provides real-time insights into the current state of the network. It can also fix leaks in seconds without human intervention. This increases the efficiency of the water network and the pipeline isolation in Dubai, saving time and effort. The project has won the Silver Team Idea of the Year award at Ideas America 2020.

Smart ball technology
The smart ball system consists of a small diameter sphere that is inserted into the water network where it travels freely, driven by the water flow. A smart programme detects and captures sounds generated by a leak, gas pocket, or anomalies inside the pipeline to locate the leak. Since its utilisation in April 2021 and until the end of 2023, the Smart Ball technology detected 81 leaks in the water transmission network in Dubai. This technology reduces operational expenses, as small cracks in the water transmission pipelines are treated before they increase in size and cause further water wastage.

DEWA provides customers with the necessary tools to enhance their water consumption efficiency, including the smart grid and smart meters, in addition to many services and initiatives that allow them to monitor, manage, and control their consumption proactively and digitally. These include:

‘High-Water Usage Alert’ service

Since the launch of the High-Water Usage Alert’ service until 31 December 2023, DEWA detected 1,811,681 leakages in water connections after the meter, and 36,005 defects, and 13,397 cases of increased load. The service sends instant notifications to customers if the smart meter system detects any unusual increase in consumption, so that they can quickly repair the internal connections, or any leaks in the water connections with the help of a specialised technician and perform the necessary maintenance work to reduce waste.

Awareness campaigns
As part of its commitment to enhancing water use efficiency and limiting waste, DEWA has launched several awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of preserving water through optimal use. The campaigns also aimed to introduce the stakeholders to DEWA’s achievements and strategies that align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

 

DEWA has also organised awareness campaigns through its internal channels and its platforms on social media, as well as competitions to motivate employees and customers to contribute to achieving sustainable development. Moreover, DEWA organises several virtual lectures throughout the year to raise awareness among students and faculty members about their role in supporting national and global efforts and climate action. This is achieved by adopting positive behaviours at work and home. DEWA also held awareness activities at the Global Village, with its cartoon characters, Noor and Hayat, to introduce children and the new generation to World Water Day.

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