DEWA adopts latest water loss smart system

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA (WAM)

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is investing in its smart grid and the latest technology to enhance its drive to reduce water loss through leaks.

In 2021, DEWA’s water network losses decreased to 5.3 per cent. The record compares favourably with statistics around the world, most notably with North America, where water losses are around 15 per cent.

DEWA has adopted pressure management and district metred systems to identify areas with leaks. For non-visible leaks, it uses automation and digital transformation projects, acoustic technology (noise loggers, ground microphones, correlators and hydrophones) and helium gas technology used in distribution pipelines to detect these in the water network. From 2013 to 2021, 7,008 leaks were detected, which saved over 4 bikllion gallons, equating to AED162.8 million.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said "We strive to fulfil the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop Dubai’s competitive abilities further and strengthen its position internationally. We prepare for the future with scientific planning and innovation, using the latest technologies in the generation, transmission, distribution, and control of water networks. We also develop innovative experiences to raise the efficiency and reliability of electricity and water networks to meet the growing demand in Dubai. This enhances Dubai’s social and economic growth."

The Smart Distribution Management System (SDMS) supports the real-time detection, location and management of infrastructure failures in the water distribution network, thus decreasing the Unaccounted For Water (UFW) for the distribution network spanning 4600 kilometres.

The SDMS also increases the visibility and management of its water distribution network and also improves the automation, efficiency of operations, reliability of water supplies. It has a centralised around the clock system for remote control and monitoring, as well as innovative smart equipment and systems. 

DEWA adopts smart ball leak detection to detect invisible water leakages in transmission pipelines that are hard to detect or reach. The technology has saved 68.45 million gallons and AED2.74 million since its implementation in April 2021.

The total investment in DEWA’s Smart Grid programme is upwards of AED7 billion and is an integral part of DEWA’s strategy to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure for managing facilities and services according to smart and integrated systems using disruptive technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution applications.

DEWA’s Smart Grid Strategy 2021 – 2035 includes six main themes: Foundational Capabilities; Grid Automation; Smart Energy Solutions and Green Mobility; Smart Water; Smart Grid Artificial Intelligence; and Innovative Value-Added Services. To achieve the short-term goals of its Smart Grid Strategy 2014-2035, DEWA replaced all its mechanical water metres with smart ones in 2020. It also started operating the Smart Metres Analysis and Diagnosis Centre, where 879,000 smart metres are read and monitored remotely every 15 minutes.

Remote control of smart metres also identified and handled 457,233 water leakage reports, 16,103 defects, and 7,974 cases of increased load over the past three years. The number of water accounts reached 960,032  by the end of 2021 compared to 666,006 accounts by the end of 2016; an increase of 44 per cent. The total number of electricity and water accounts reached 2,021,508 accounts by the end of 2021.

More from Business