Dubai smart water programme reveals network and customer benefits

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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has reported increased conservation and network efficiency from its smart water projects.

The multi-faceted programme has been aimed to expand and develop the water networks to keep pace with the rapid growth and development of Dubai.

The length of pipelines in the water network has quadrupled from 3,350km in 1992 to almost 16,000km. The storage capacity of water in Dubai also increased from 170Ml in 1992 to 3,700Ml today, with a further increase due to 4,500Ml this year.

In 2014, DEWA launched the first phase of the 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 and enables monitoring of the water network in Dubai remotely around the clock, including the pipelines, pumping stations and reservoirs.

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To this end over 8,500 smart devices have been installed, with the second phase currently under way.

During 2020, all the mechanical water meters were replaced with smart meters. The Smart Meters Analysis and Diagnosis Centre, where 879,000 smart meters are read and monitored remotely every 15 minutes, also came into operation. This helps DEWA improve the meter readings availability to 99.9%.

Remote control of smart meters also identified and handled almost half a million water leakage reports, over 16,000 defects and almost 8,000 cases of increased load over the past three years.

Smart living

Through the smart meters, DEWA enables customers to monitor their water and electricity consumption digitally and proactively without needing to contact DEWA, as part of the Smart Living initiative. The initiative includes a suite of awareness and incentive programmes to rationalise electricity and water use and find solutions to any problems and constraints that increase waste or overuse.

One example is the My Sustainable Living Programme, which enables customers to compare their consumption with that of similar home and to benefit from offers provided by DEWA Store to enhance control over consumption with energy and water saving devices.

The Smart Response customer service initiative, available in five languages, provides customers with information and tools to improve the availability of supply. With Smart Response, the number of steps required to fix interruptions has been reduced from 10 steps to only one step and it has reduced the number of field visits by DEWA’s technicians by 56% and the duration of fixing interruptions by 43%.

The high water usage alert initiative helps customers find leaks in their water connections, with instant notifications if there is an unusual increase in consumption. More than 287,000 accounts have benefited from the service since its launch in May this year and has saved more than 26 billion litres of water with customer savings over AED 317 million ($86 million).

Network monitoring

DEWA’s Hydronet project, which uses artificial intelligence and deep learning, is calculated to have brought savings of AED5.3 million (US$1.4 million) annually through remote monitoring and control of the water network.

The project can be integrated with any SCADA system and provides real-time insights on the current state of the network.

Through all these actions DEWA’s water network losses have dropped from 42% in 1988 to 5.1% today, which is believed to be one of the lowest levels worldwide.