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WFES 2013: Recycling – watering the idea

We spoke with Matthew Griffiths, Director of Water Strategy and Reuse, Regulation and Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi, to find out what the main function of the Bureau was and how it could be relevant to the district cooling sector.

| | Feb 16, 2013 | 2:43 pm
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We spoke with Matthew Griffiths, Director of Water Strategy and Reuse, Regulation and Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi, to find out what the main function of the Bureau was and how it could be relevant to the district cooling sector.

feb2013-report305The Bureau is responsible for the technical and economic regulation of collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater. “We are the independent regulator for the water, wastewater and electricity sector,” said Griffiths. “We don’t regulate the district cooling sector. But obviously, the district cooling sector is closely linked to power and water.”

“From a wastewater perspective, what this means is taking the wastewater from properties, from residential, commercial and industrial properties, into the sewerage system and through to treatment plants and then we produce quality products, which we call in Abu Dhabi recycled water and biosolids, and we are responsible for trying to get those products reused in a safe, economic and sustainable way.” He revealed that the Bureau had developed recycled water and biosolids regulations whose main purpose was to provide a framework for the safe, efficient and economic reuse of recycled water. “The emirate invests huge amounts of money in treating this water to a high quality, so what we want to do is make sure it gets reused, because if we can capture and reuse this water, we can offset desalinated water consumption,” he pointed out.

When asked if the water could be used for district cooling, he replied: “Now, for sure, district cooling is a potential end-user of this water. There might be quality considerations, the district cooling [provider] might need to polish the water to get it to a suitable quality for use in the district cooling plant. But that would be a technical decision on a case-by-case basis.”

Griffiths said that the regulations that the Bureau had produced included safety plans and supply agreements. “The idea is that the recycled water is branded as a product. So an end-user, which could be a district cooling plant, would approach the sewerage services company to get some of this water, and enter a supply agreement in terms of volume and quality, and that would start the relationship,” he concluded.


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