Citylife > Press Release
  Home Contact us Add to Favourites
Most Recent Postings
More Press Releses
Featured Sections

Event Finder
A daily roundup of exhibitions, promotions and other events in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates.
Submit an Event
Latest Dubai Press Releases >> Government, Legal and Humanity


Water storage recovery strategy to become blueprint for world's desert zones

Abu Dhabi: 16 January 2018:  Abu Dhabi today unveiled the world's largest reserve of high quality desalinated water, se-cured in a network of 315 recovery wells lying up to 80 meters below the Liwa Desert. The wells are fed by one of United Arab Emirates' (UAE) longest water pipeline networks which runs the water from Shuweihat desalination plant at a rate of 7 million imperial gallons (ap-prox. 32,000 m3) / day over 27 months. 

The reserve, which has at its core an infiltration and recovery system sitting atop a natural fresh water underground aquifer, was first investigated in 2002 and has been extensively researched by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD). The project was undertaken as a collaborative venture between EAD, delivering the vital scientific studies, feasibility, risk and mitigation scenarios as well as strategic planning Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and its TRANSCO subsidiary, which managed the construction and on-the-ground implementation. 

His Excellency Dr. Saif Saleh Al Seairi, Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Water and Elec-tricity Authority (ADWEA), delivered a speech in which he thanked the President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, for their continu-ous support of the water and electricity sector, a pivotal component of the cultural and ur-ban renaissance witnessed by Abu Dhabi. He also highlighted their impact on the develop-ment and contribution of the Authority and its group of companies through key infrastruc-ture projects. He added that the completion of the Liwa Strategic Water Reserve coincides with the celebration of the year 2018 as a result of the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan And for his vision of the future of the region, and call for the conservation of resources and secure access to future generations.

“The reserve acts as a safety net for the provision of water and is now being regarded as an excellent regional model for foresight and planning,” said His Excellency Saif Al Seairi, Acting Director General, ADWEA. “We applaud the efforts of the team that worked hard in some of the harshest desert conditions and in an environment of a constantly undulating landscape. The project team overcame considerable challenges to complete this one-of-a-kind scheme and lessons learned have been shared with our regional partners. This project has positioned Abu Dhabi”, he added.

“The entire project is testament to the power of multi-stakeholder collaboration, and an exemplary case study in inter-governmental cooperation driven by environmental pillars guiding sustainable economic imperatives,” said Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General, EAD.

The project has addressed Abu Dhabi's water security and its resilience through the re-charge of groundwater aquifers with high-quality desalinated water, which cannot be stored above ground due to contamination and other factors. The desalinated water is piped from the coast to create the secure, underground reserve system and was accomplished by a multi-national and multi-disciplinary team of experts from EAD, TRANSCO, ADWEA, RSB, the independent regulatory body for Abu Dhabi's water and electricity sector, GIZ International, Do. Rainer Consultancy and ACC-POSCO JV. 

Established in one of the world's driest areas where rainfall rarely exceeds 10 cms a year, the project has been completed at an estimated cost of AED 1.61 billion equivalent to USD 435,616,000 to deliver a fallback pumping capacity of 100 million gallons of water / day to the emirate if required. The desalinated water percolates into the subsurface through basins with a system of semi-perforated underground pipes to recharge the aquifer using only gravity as a driving force.
The project ensures continuous water supply for Abu Dhabi city and Al Dhafra region and secures the reserve for future generations. Whenever needed, water from the 315 wells, lying up to 80 metres below ground, can be used to recover supplies at any time.

The reserve now holds more than 26 million m3 of water (equivalent to 5.6 billion imperial gallons) that can bolster drinking water supply when needed. “Long-term wellbeing of our communities is enhanced by the maintenance and enhancement of groundwater while be-ing conscious that we need to progress additional recharge and recovery projects to opti-mize flexible allocation of water as required,” said Razan Al Mubarak.

Hailed as a “breakthrough sustainable engineering feat”, the Liwa reserve attests to the emirate's commitment to “modern scientific knowledge and Abu Dhabi's future vision for a balanced approach between development and conservation, that started with the late Sheikh Zayed and is now part of his legacy; a legacy which continues to grow through our President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,  HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Na-hyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander UAE Armed Forces and HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative to Al Dhafra Region and EAD's Chairman of the Board. Their guidance, wisdom and unmitigated support continue to drive us forward,” according to Al Mubarak. “Their endorsement and insights are reflected in the Liwa Strategic Water Reserve, which represents a global benchmark for water man-agement in desert regions and could completely redefine international standards for re-charge and recovery projects”.

Throughout the implementation of the project, considerable attention was paid to the use of highly engineered, environment-friendly specification materials, which were deemed ap-propriate to the Liwa area. The infiltration basin was insulated with protective materials, including a gravel mix of large pore stones to evenly distribute water and ensure better fil-tration.

The 160-kilometre pipeline from the strategic water reserve site to the Madinat Zayed dis-tribution network in Abu Dhabi city consists of approximately 9,000 sections of welded pipes some of which measure 1.2 metres in diameter, and are up to 18 metres long. The sections had to be transported into the desert and pieced together through high precision welding which would take up to five continuous hours per section with stringent, follow-on X-ray inspection to ensure the system was leak-proof and could withstand the prevailing water pressure for a minimum of 50 years.

Concerns about aquifer contamination from large animals, such as roaming camels, were addressed by working with nature which resulted in the creation of a ‘groundwater protec-tion buffer zone' made from locally produced palm-frond while solar panels power wellhead monitoring instrumentation. 

Reallocating the surplus from desalinated water into the reserve, addresses some of the challenges brought by dependence on desalination plants. “Desalination plants can be shut down by storms, a malfunction, a random sea raft and even the red tide phenomenon which has been exacerbated by climate change and negatively impacts water quality, the envi-ronment and ultimately the local economy. We need strategic reserves in the event of one or more stations being out of service and we need to ensure the availability of an alternative so that the population, industrial and commercial sectors are not negatively affected. The government realised the need for an alternative supply to cover our needs in the near or far term, and one which would also mitigate against climate risks and it is wisely investing in finding solutions” stated Al Seairi.

The Liwa desert was chosen for the project after it met strict specification criteria. These included an extremely light water basin trajectory to prevent leakage; capable of sustaining a ‘tank' thickness to handle significant storage volumes; safe surroundings free of human activities which could contaminate the reserve and where groundwater quality was of suffi-cient quality to allow for ‘recharge and mixing.' 

“We decided to recharge the depleting ground aquifers with our surplus desalinated water and the result proved to be the most efficient way to store water at the lowest cost,” ex-plained Al Seairi. “We do not need to build and maintain water tanks. We do not need ener-gy to power their injection. We only re-inject water to replenish and restore what was pre-viously there.”

Water quality is ensured through strict control, heat and salinity monitoring equipment and a range of other metrics. “Running the expansive well network simultaneously is a complex process. Communication and inter-team information exchange is critical. All this data is connected to a master network that acts as the project's ‘brain' and is housed in a state-of-the-art electronic process centre from which technicians control pumps, wells and valves and water quality which complies with RSB drinking water standards, is ensured by auto-matically operating at least 20 wells per day”, stated Al Seairi.

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between EAD, represented by H.E. Razan Al Mubarak and TRANSCO, represented by H.E. Mohammed bin Omair Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Board TRANSCO at the International Water Summit which is running in the UAE capital as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the strategic water reserve project will now be operated, managed and maintained by TRANSCO with scientific support by EAD. In readiness for the operation period, TRANSCO has prioritised the training of UAE nationals as project managers. “Their contact with this project vastly increases their experience, enriching their national pride and their sense of this project's value and they add their insight and viewpoint to achieve the project's objectives,” said H.E. Mohammed Bin Omair Al Shamsi.

For EAD, the project is a true visionary undertaking to address pressing realities.  “The stor-age of huge reserves of fresh water in the desert was considered a dream for previous gen-erations. However, the nation's innovative vision, wise investment in the latest technologies and in global expertise balanced by a sustainable approach and environmental science have made that dream a reality,” said Al Mubarak. “As the Year of Zayed celebrates his achieve-ments and legacy, we honor and follow the path he set forth. Through inter-agency co-operation we have adopted a coherent approach to create real change in the management of our water resources to ensure the protection of our environment and our economic prosperity.”

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
Viewed 8705 times
Posted on : Tuesday, January 16, 2018  
Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of GoDubai.com.
Previous Story : Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation Organizes Umrah Trip for 40 Minors, Mothers
Next Story : Etihad ESCO & TAQATI to throw the spotlight on significant role of utilizing energy efficient soluti...
Email this article Print this article

Share this article with your friends and followers


Back to Top  
Most Viewed Press Release posted in the last 7 days
Bhima Jewellers Wows Women on International Women's Day
Foreo Declares 2018 the Year of Confidence
Built for the Way We Communicate Today: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Launches in the UAE
Filorga Launches Lift Range
The Ultimate Mother's Day Beauty and Wellness Gifts
The Sheet Mask Trend
Top Perfume Picks for Mother's Day @ Glambeaute.com
Rise and Shine with Sophie's
SMCCU opens its doors for SIKKA Art Fair
Nissan's e-POWER technology wins environmental award
Mother's Day Offer from Blush N Curls Salon
Max launches its Inaugural Abaya Collection
It's Mother's Day!
The Global Sensation UFO Lands in Europe at Cosmoprof 2018
Al-Futtaim Honda launches 10th generation Honda Accord
“The Night of Italian Design” at D3 Attracts Design Enthusiasts
LULU Organic Food Activation
Drink yourself to looking younger with Skinade
Iconic milkshake brand Keventers to open 30 outlets across the UAE in 2018
Discover the MISA Cho Gong Jin Oriental and Herbal Skincare Range from Missha
An Open Secret - The new Flying Regulator Open Gear provides deep insights
The V-Tox Facial by Linda Meredith Skincare
Corporate Power Dressing redefined at Kachins Signature
UAE Jiu-jitsu Federation® Conducted the Official Weigh-ins of Abu Dhabi Grand Sl...
Reading Champions Declared at 10th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Preps for the Fazza Championships for Shooting Saktoun Riffle begin on March 11
A Meet & Greet with the Pakistani Cricket Sensation Umar Akmal
Own your pores like a Bioré Princess!
The only line you'll love in your face – your perfect jawline!
Cadillac Alghanim kicks off world-class opportunity in Kuwait
OMEGA Launches its NATO Strap “Pop-Up Boutique” in Paris
GMC sets a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title in partnership with Abu Dhabi Police
Milan-san Remo a Dream Target as Uae Team Emirates Announce Super-seven Line Up
The Dubai Mall unveils Fashion Avenue; the region's most prestigious luxury des...
ba&sh's Spring-Summer collection 2018
Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation Attracts 1200 Emirati Job Seekers at Careers...
Beyond Beauty partners with Platinum Records to position teen sensation Hala Al ...
The Spring Summer 18 Womenswear Collection
Raymond Weil introduces the Maestro Blues
Johnson's® Baby Launches Its First Semi-therapeutic Product Range
Elina Svitolina takes New York by storm and wins it all!
UAE's first ICU Symposium attracts over 150 of GCCs top healthcare professionals
Arabian Healthcare Group and Dignity Health USA team up to expand world-class cl...
GUESS Unveils the Kids Spring 2018 Collection and Campaign
Sanofi introduces innovative therapy to help address high unmet medical needs of...
Velvet Caviar meets Roger Dubuis Diva power
10th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Ends with a Bang!
PCFC, GDRFA conclude Successful Marriage program ahead of 7th Mass Wedding