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    Posted February 5, 2014 by
    prospectgrp
    Location
    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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    RSB confident that growing demand for water, wastewater & electricity in Abu Dhabi will be met

     
    Rashed Al Rashedi is the Deputy Director General of the Regulation & Supervision Bureau (RSB), the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater, and electricity sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He spoke with The Prospect Group about current and future supply and demand for water, wastewater, and electricity in Abu Dhabi, and RSB’s efforts to lower consumption and promote conservation.

    FULL TRANSCRIPT:

    What are the latest production and demand figures for water, wastewater, and electricity? What is the demand breakdown between residential and non-residential use?

    AL RASHEDI: By the end of 2012, water production had increased by 9.5% from the previous year, with a total production of 750 million gallon per day. From the electricity side, there was an increase of 8.9%, with a total production of 10,600 megawatts. For the wastewater, there was an increase of 14.75%, with total treated water of 780,000 cubic metres per day.

    The production breakdown between residential and non-residential changes from one year to another. It depends on the Emirate's plan, if they are focusing on the industrial part or the residential part. By the end of 2012, percentage wise, the residential was 55% in comparison to 45% for industrial.

    If current trends continue, demand for water and electricity in 2020 could be nearly double what they are today. How confident are you that that demand and supply can remain balanced?

    AL RASHEDI: The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has adopted a very good approach with regards to putting in place different means to produce electricity; whereas you will have renewable energy, you will have nuclear, and traditional production. The sectors do make a 7-year planning statement, where they will forecast what will be the demand for the coming seven years. By 2020, we already have forecasts for it, based on different information received from governmental entities and different developers. So as a sector, we have the plan and the plan has been executed so hopefully, by 2020, the demand will be met.

    We are the regulator for three important activities, which is part of the infrastructure for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We regulate the power generation distribution, water generation distribution, and also the treatment of sewage water. It's very important for us that these three sectors should have proper planning to meet the demands for the forecasted expansion of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. So on the base of our Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, we have developed some sort of a road map for the sector, where it's going to be heading, how it is supposed to cope with the increased industrial activities, residential activities, and so forth. It's very important for us that all these facilities should be available on the commissioning and the operation of these units. We have done our RSB Vision 2030, in order to assure the public that the sector has a plan in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

    An expansion is currently underway at the Fujairah 1 IWPP that will increase the plant’s seawater desalination capacity by 30 million imperial gallons per day (MiGD) using reverse osmosis technology. How significant will reverse osmosis technology be for meeting future water demand in Abu Dhabi?

    AL RASHEDI: Reverse osmosis is a very different type of technology from the traditional one, and it's also easy to manage and it depends on electricity consumption only. You can place it wherever you want. So it has its own added value, especially given that with 2017 we will have the nuclear power plant and a huge capacity will be there. So all this capacity can be utilized for attending to different customers, and we can also use it for reverse osmosis.

    The RSB has installed 400 smart meters in volunteer’s homes to monitor and better understand energy consumption patterns. What have you learned from this initiative?

    AL RASHEDI: The 400 monitored units, or homes, is one of RSB’s initiatives under Powerwise, which monitors the behaviour consumption of these units by installing smart meters. The good thing about it, and its taken us something like a year now of monitoring all these units, is it shows a very good result where people have changed their way of consumption and behaviour. We can say there is a huge reduction from their original consumption pattern to a lower consumption pattern.

    What efforts are underway to promote water and energy conservation? In such a relatively affluent market, is price a significant factor in influencing electricity consumption? Apart from price, what other measures are you using to influence behaviour?

    AL RASHEDI: In early 2013 we launched two new departments or sub-units, which are Powerwise and Waterwise. The main functionality of these two units is to see the behaviour that goes with the consumption of different residents. We have done several pilot projects with some of these residential areas, commercial buildings, and government buildings, where we have studied the way they are managing their demand and the way they consume water and electricity.

    Now it's been a year since we launched these two offices and we are trying to build up several databases for us to make good decisions about how we are supposed to promote different ways to rationalize consumption. Through these two offices and our communication team, we have done several consumption reduction campaigns in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. For example, in Marina Mall, in the Al Ain Mall, and other malls, where we have met the different customer types and shown them different ways how they are supposed to manage their consumption by showing different tips and what they can do in order to preserve and put different measures within their houses to monitor and reduce their consumption. Also, recently we have attended the Abu Dhabi Science Fair and it was a huge acceptance, especially from the children. We have introduced two new games, interactive games, so they can go into the game and manage it in a 3D dimension, and manage their consumption within these houses or these units, which has I think, a very good, positive impact on the customer side and also on the young generation.

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