Dubai: Drones used to ensure quality, availability of desalinated water

Dewa harnesses Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to support city’s growing infrastructure


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 1:59 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 2:56 PM

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) on Thursday announced that it has been enhancing its production capacity to meet the growing demand for electricity and water with the help of advanced drones.

“Dewa uses the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, including drones, to provide its services according to the highest quality, availability, reliability and efficiency standard,” it said in a statement issued today.

A world-class infrastructure has been developed, supported by assets exceeding Dh200 billion, owned by Dewa and its subsidiaries and further investment of Dh40 billion will be made over five years in the energy and water sectors.

Sirb drone initiative

Dewa has been harnessing drone technology within the Sirb initiative. The drones are equipped with high-definition cameras that have night-vision and laser technologies, GPS sensors that can measure pressure, height, magnetic fields, and use ultrasound scanning.

“Dewa has several types of drones such as multi-rotor hydro, fixed-wing, multi-rotor and underwater Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV)s,” it said.

“In water desalination, ROVs are used for underwater inspection of water intake infrastructure. Drones are also used for boiler inspection during annual overhauls, and also in videography and site inspections. In 2021, the Generation Division completed over 90 flights using robots to support the delivery of water and electricity services at the highest levels of quality, availability and reliability,” said Dewa.

Water quality checks

Meanwhile, Dewa also ensures drinking water quality through round the clock monitoring.

“Samples of seawater entering the power and desalination plants are collected to ensure a sufficient level of free residual chlorine to maintain the disinfection process for protecting the equipment. Dewa has installed instruments for continuous monitoring of seawater parameters such as pH, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen,” it said.

Dewa also has regular schedules to collect water samples at different stages of the desalination process to ensure drinking water quality.

It analyses the seawater inlet and brine discharge samples from the power generation and desalination process to study its physical, chemical and microbiological parameters to ensure compliance with the UAE regulations.

What is Dubai’s water source?

> Dewa currently has 43 Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) water desalination units with a total production capacity of 427 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day (MIGD)

> It also has two sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants with a production capacity of 63 MIGD. Dewa’s total production capacity of desalinated water is 490 MIGD at the Jebel Ali Power Plant and Desalination Complex.

Dewa aims to increase its SWRO production capacity to 303 MIGD by 2030, reaching 42 per cent from its current share of 13 per cent. The desalinated water production capacity would reach 730 MIGD by 2030.

The increased production capacity of decoupling water desalination from electricity generation will save nearly Dh13 billion by 2030 and reduce 44 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

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