Enabling recycled water use and re-using existing assets—and making it fast
Saadiyat Island was relying on desalinated water for its irrigation demands—this was energy intensive and not sustainable. To align with national targets for 95% reuse of wastewater, a water source switch was needed.
With a small population, Saadiyat Island doesn’t have a lot of wastewater to recycle, and the island needs up to 25 million liters a day to irrigate its green spaces. The original solution was to bring recycled water from source, 50 kilometres away, but by partnering with government and private developers, Stantec was able to investigate the water balances of the surrounding communities. We found just what we needed—Yas Island, right next door, had water to spare.
The next challenge was getting the water from one island to the other at as efficiently as possible. The solution? Connecting the existing irrigation reservoir on the island to an existing recycled water pumping station on Yas Island. This required a new 25-million-liter buried reservoir, three additional 220 litres per second pumps at the pumping station, and 15 kilometres of water main. The pipe-route included four sea channel crossings, constructed by horizontal directional drilling, to preserve a protected mangrove area.
Using an intensive hydraulic modelling effort and stakeholder meetings to fast-track the permitting process, the design was completed in just four months. With a huge saving on the cost of desalinated water, the project expects a return on the investment in just 1.7 years.
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