The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has revealed that the total recycled water production in the emirate last year was 301 million cu m, through the operation of 39 treatment plants. Recycled water reuse percentage reached 61.1 percent, most of it through landscape irrigation activities.
The statistics from the department, which is mandated to be the energy regulator for Abu Dhabi, was based on the reports and documents it received from licensed companies operating in the water sector using 2019 data.
Abdulrahman Khamis Alalawi, Health, Safety & Environment Director at DoE, said: "The wastewater and recycled water sector is of the utmost priority for the Department of Energy, which is responsible for employing policies and regulations within it."
"The department ensures legal compliance for the upgrading of this vital sector while maintaining the highest standards of quality throughout," stated Alalawi.
"In view of the UAE’s harsh climactic conditions and low annual levels of rainfall, water is our most precious of all resources. We aim to maximise its utilisation through recycling. The DoE has made great strides in this field, most notably with the launch of a Recycled Water Policy aimed at assisting national efforts of conserving water resources in Abu Dhabi to meet the future needs of all sectors. We continue to focus on this vital sector, through which we seek to create a pioneering business model for best management of water resources," he added.
Highlighting the performance indicators of wastewater and recycled water in Abu Dhabi, DoE announced that the process of collecting wastewater throughout the emirate is proceeding according to established plans.
It indicated that Abu Dhabi Sewerage and Services Company (ADSSC) implemented an array of projects to improve assets and wastewater lines during 2019, with many other improvement projects in the pipeline and which will be progressively implemented through to 2024.
DoE stated that the discharge of trade effluent poses a significant operational challenge to wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems. In order to manage these risks, ADSSC is empowered to issue and enforce consents that define the terms and conditions under which the discharge can be made.
By the end of 2019, there were 111 consented entities for the disposal of industrial wastewater in Abu Dhabi, with ADSSC conducting 325 sampling and inspection assessment activities of consent holders in 2019.
Last year, ADSSC had operated 39 wastewater treatment plants with a total installed capacity of 1,330 mega litres per day (ML/day), with over 90% of the overall flow in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi handled by five treatment plants.
Data from DoE indicated significant improvements in compliance against the three key parameter tables (sanitary, microbiological and trace elements) over the last five years, with excellent compliance reported throughout 2019 for sanitary and trace element parameters.
Approximately 60 per cent of the recycled water is currently being used in Abu Dhabi, emphasising that recycled water can offset potable water demand, said the statement from the department.
The Recycled Water & Biosolids Regulations have been developed to maximise the social and economic benefits associated with recycled water and biosolids reuse and to alleviate any risk to public health and the environment, it added.