There is a shortage of water in Abu Dhabi and clean water is a great challenge. With a strong focus on making water supply more efficient an enhanced effort has reduced the water loss from 45% to 10% in some major areas of Al Ain City.
The citizens of Abu Dhabi are relying on desalinated water and have invested huge amounts making sure that there is desalinated water enough to provide water for up to 90 days in case of drought or other emergencies. Desalinated water is very expensive and it has been necessary to focus on reducing water loss which in some areas previously was as high as 45%.
New technologies needed to reduce the water loss
An advanced management system is required to reduce water loss. It provides water utilities with an overview and full control as well as real time access to information and key performance indicators, day and night. The municipality of Abu Dhabi engaged NIRAS to present a masterplan and implement new technologies to get control of their non-revenue water.
District Meter Areas
First, the Al Ain City was sectioned into District Meter Areas (DMA’s) and a leakage management system was implemented. To be able to close off a certain section when repairing leakages, a shut-off valve had to be installed at each entrance to a section.
The importance of reliable and leak tight valves
When choosing valves for a DMA, quality is a key factor. It is paramount that all valves installed are 100% reliable and leak tight as it is otherwise very hard to identify leaks inside the DMA. A method to locate leaks is by pressurising parts of the DMA and then measure if the pressure holds or drops. A pressure drop indicates a leak and therefore it is important to be certain that it is not the valves separating the sections that leak and thereby cause the decrease in pressure. One of Abu Dhabi's engineers expressed it this way: “High quality, functional and operational valves are the backbone of any water distribution system”. The choice fell on AVK gate valves series 06.
Besides sectioning the city into District Meter Areas and installing AVK valves, metering equipment was installed at the pumping stations and at the customers to measure the use of water and this way identify possible leaks.
Identifying leaks by noise
Another focus area was to locate leaks directly on the pipe and it was solved by using noise loggers and online hydraulic models enabling localisation of new leaks as they occurred. The noise logger is enhanced up to 15.000 times to be able to hear the slightest noise, caused by leaks, on the water line. The noise logger reports to the system when an increased noise level has been detected in the area. This gives a repair team the chance to quickly locate and repair the leak. Here, AVK products were in play again since AVK offers a complete solution with a valve, an extension spindle and a street cover with room for an integrated noise logger.
The project was a great success and a vital reduction of the water loss was calling for an expanded project to follow.
Complete, intelligent solutions
Leading companies within water supply – NIRAS, AVK, Grundfos, Schneider Electric, Kamstrup and Leif Koch – has formed a partnership to present complete intelligent solutions to assist parts of the world suffering from water shortage and water loss.