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Desalination enhances Abu Dhabi’s water security

  • Desalination enhances Abu Dhabi’s water security

Abu Dhabi is a major user of desalinated water, with 9% of the total desalinated water worldwide and nine plants that produce 4.13 million cubic metres (910 million imperial gallons) per day for residents and economic activities. Desalinated water constitutes 30% of the total water resources in the emirate.

The Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy (DoE) Undersecretary, Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, has said in the future water plants will be enhanced with the latest technology to increase their capacity and be more energy efficient, expanding the use of reverse osmosis, reports Utilities ME. The water sector plays a key role in energy transformation in the emirate, as desalination technology enhances the security of the water supply for business and communities.

A campaign launched by the DoE last April, “Our Commitment – Our Nation’s Power”, reinforces the commitment to energy efficient water supplies from the emirate’s desalination plants. The campaign highlights the significance of the electrical energy and water sectors in Abu Dhabi and the security of supply to ensure the stability of essential industries.

In addition to its nine operating plants scattered throughout the emirate, Abu Dhabi is working on the largest desalination plant in the world at the Al Taweelah Power and Water Complex, to be finished in 2022. The plant is expected to produce 909,200 cubic metres per day (about 200 million imperial gallons) to support the industries and the community at Al Taweelah and the surrounding areas. The project is expected to set new global benchmarks concerning the cost of desalinated water and the energy consumed.

Currently 84% of desalinated water in Abu Dhabi is generated using thermal desalination techniques: 67% using multi-stage flash distillation technology (MSF) and 17% using multiple-effect distillation technology (MED). Reverse osmosis ─ one of the most promising technologies to reduce the amount of energy necessary for seawater desalination ─ is used to generate the other 16%.

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