Abu Dhabi launches Recycled Water Policy to Maintain Water Resources

Abu Dhabi launches Recycled Water Policy to Maintain Water Resources
Published: 30 June 2019 - 6:42 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has announced the launch of a ‘Recycled Water Policy,’ that will ensure optimal use of recycled water in the emirate. Announced during a workshop held by DoE, which was attended by all concerned parties, the policy supports efforts to preserve Abu Dhabi’s water resources, including drinking and underground water, in order to meet the future needs of all sectors.

Developed in cooperation with the Treated Wastewater Reuse Committee, the ‘Recycled Water Policy’ reinforces DoE’s role in ensuring sustainable supplies of recycled water through the distribution companies. This is aligned with the total capacity of wastewater treatment plants owned by Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) and other operators licenced by DoE. The policy promotes DoE’s efforts to develop a water management strategy to ensure efficient management and preservation of water resources in the UAE capital.

The workshop was led by Mohamed Hilal Al Zaabi, Acting Executive Director for Regulatory Affairs at the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi and was attended by representatives from Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Security Authority, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company, Al Ain Distribution Company, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Emirates Water And Electricity Company and Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company.

“The Recycled Water Policy underscores DoE’s recognition of water as a strategic resource and its understanding that water security is an integral part of the sustainable water security. There is an urgent need to develop an integrated policy to manage all water resources in the emirate, including recycled water. Our Recycled Water Policy is aligned with the objectives of UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 to ensure sustainable and continued access to water at all times and under any circumstances and to secure an adequate water supply for residential, commercial, governmental, industrial, and agricultural uses. We are dedicated to using the latest water recycling technology to make best use of water that would otherwise be wasted - this is a quantum leap in terms of water supply reserves that helps reduce reliance on water desalination and groundwater in Abu Dhabi,” said H.E. Mohamed Bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Undersecretary of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi.

The new policy is applicable to all sectors and activities involving recycled water research studies and recycled water distribution across Abu Dhabi. It will be implemented by DoE, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company , Al Ain Distribution Company, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company and the independent sewage treatment plants.

“Our new policy aims to maximise the use of recycled water, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi’s licensed distribution companies, through joint developmental efforts, coordination and continued quality improvement. This is in the framework of an integrated work system - which is part of our plans to achieve sustainable development - and of Abu Dhabi strategic plans that ensure prosperity of all economic and service sectors for a better future for forthcoming generations,” added Al Falasi.

The new policy supports broader initiatives to develop and support an integrated policy for water management and to develop a regulatory framework for the emirate in coordination with all relevant entities and stakeholders, including the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi. In addition, the new policy promotes the reuse of recycled water for its economic, social and environmental benefits.

The Recycled Water Policy obligates the relevant entities to comply with the requirements, terms and conditions of purchasing, transmitting, distributing, supplying and storing recycled water in an efficient, safe, and economic way. It provides general frameworks for the development of purchase and supply contracts for all supply points - this includes all users and suppliers using recycled water based on the approved tariff. The policy also sets the perspective for a comprehensive economic value of recycled water in the long term and how to explore and open new markets to use recycled water and by-products of wastewater treatment.

The policy also includes the development and implementation of security and safety plans to protect public health, environment and water quality across all delivery and distribution points, as per DoE’s instructions. It sets an effective mechanism for water quality regular control and establishes an efficient reporting system to provide timely and accurate information.

As per the policy, distribution companies are responsible for studying all requests to use recycled water for non-drinking purposes and determining the quality and quantity of water for each intended purpose, taking into consideration water quantities obtained from sources and the actual needs of each entity.

The policy invites entities to take part in DoE’s initiatives to facilitate communication between recycled water producers and end-users, determines responsibilities and rights of each entity and ensures realising and meeting their needs. It gives particular importance to raising awareness amongst recycled water users and informing them of all rights, responsibilities and risks related to the use of recycled water in order to avoid any unauthorised use. It highlights the significance of providing all information required to develop an integrated plan or policy for water management through effective communication with all entities and key partners in Abu Dhabi.

The Recycled Water Policy provides constant support for a continuous improvement approach, the treatment, use, or promotion of recycled water as an alternative water resource in the emirate.

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