Khalid Al Shanqiti (left), project engineer, and Alan Thomson with a model of their project of a tunnel boring machine at the conference. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A new network of pipes will allow the UAE capital to reuse 100 per cent of recycled waste water, a senior official said.

Abu Dhabi emirate recycles 100 per cent of 850,000 cubic metres of waste water generated per day but only 60 per cent of this is reused while the remaining 40 per cent is discarded in the sea due to lack of infrastructure to utilise it.

This situation will change as the emirate is planning to install a new network to utilise the entire recycled water within three years, a senior official told Gulf News on Sunday.

The plan follows the successful model in Al Ain, which has become the first city in the country to reuse 100 per cent of recycled water, said Alan Thomson, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), an Abu Dhabi government entity responsible for waste water management in the emirate.

Free of cost recycled water

Consumers get the recycled water free of cost, which is used in agriculture, forestry and landscaping, he said on the sidelines of POWER-GEN Middle East (PGME) and WaterWorld Middle East (WWME) Conferences and Exhibition, a three-day event being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Suhail Mohammad Bin Faraj Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy, officially opened the event.

Thomson, who was a keynote speaker at the inaugural session, told Gulf News that Al Ain city recycles 190,000 cubic metres of waste water it generates a day, which is fully distributed for reuse.

“About five per cent of water may be lost during distribution but at least 95 per cent is utilised,” he said.

A separate network was built to distribute the recycled water. Similarly, consumers have to arrange their own network within their premises for using recycled water. “Fully subsidised water [free of cost] is the incentive for them,” the official said.

The reuse of recycled water minimises the pressure on generation of fresh water that is otherwise used in agriculture, forestry and landscaping.

As water generation in the UAE is through desalination with fossil fuels, the reuse of recycled water minimises carbon emissions considerably. “This environmental benefit is the major incentive,” Thomson said.

New network

Now we are in touch with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Government to construct a 200-kilometre-long new pipe network to distribute recycled water in the greater Abu Dhabi region,” he said.

Once the approval is given the project can be completed within three years.

There is a huge demand for recycled water for agriculture, forestry and landscaping in greater Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi island and surrounding areas such as Reem Island, Yas Islands, Shahama and areas stretching along the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway and Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highway, he said. About 650,000 cubic metres of waste water is generated and recycled in greater Abu Dhabi area but only 60 per cent is reused.

Asked about the situation in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, Thomson said although there is a huge demand for recycled water for agriculture and forestry, the amount of waste water generation is not enough due to the low population.

Asked whether recycled water from Abu Dhabi city can be transported there, he said there is more than enough demand in greater Abu Dhabi itself.

At the conference, Yury Sentyurin, State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation; Dr Hesham Khatib, Honorary Vice- Chairman, World Energy Council, Jordan; and a former Jordanian Cabinet Minister also gave keynote addresses.