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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has invested in its advanced smart grid and the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to enhance its leadership and global excellence in water network losses
In 2021, DEWA’s water network losses decreased to 5.3%. This is one of the best records globally and compares favourably to North America, where water losses are around 15%. Such records demonstrate DEWA’s position as one of the most prominent and distinguished global utilities.
DEWA adopts pressure management and district metered 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.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, highlighted that the organisation applies the best global practices in all its projects to raise production and operational efficiency. DEWA has achieved substantial savings in developing the water network to promote its effectiveness and reliability as well as raise the water flow to meet the comprehensive development needs as well as the growing demand. It provides its services to more than a million customers in Dubai according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, and efficiency. DEWA’s current capacity has reached 13,417MW of electricity and 490 MIGD of water.
Smart Distribution Management System (SDMS)
The Smart Distribution Management System (SDMS-W) 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.
In 2014, DEWA launched the first phase of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Centre for water transmission at its Sustainable Building in Al Quoz. This is part of its efforts to achieve digital transformation using state-of-the-art operational technology. This enables it to monitor the water network in Dubai remotely around the clock, including the water transmission pipelines, pumping stations and reservoirs sprawling over 2,300 kilometres.
DEWA developed its Hydronet project to use AI and Deep Learning.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.
Water Smart Distribution Management System
The Water Smart Distribution Management System increases the visibility and management of its water distribution network. It also improves the automation, efficiency of operations, reliability of water supplies, and DEWA’s excellence worldwide in reducing water losses. It has a centralised around 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. In addition, it is linked with an advanced water SCADA and hydraulic-management systems. The system will improve fault location, isolation and lower costs.
Smart Ball Leak Detection Technology
DEWA adopts the 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 US$7.45mn since its implementation in April 2021.
The total investment in DEWA’s Smart Grid programme is upwards of US$1bn. A Smart Grid provides advanced features that include interoperability across the entire electricity and water network. It 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.