Dubai implements smart ball to detect water leaks

Feb. 22, 2022
The smart ball uses a small sphere to detect the sounds produced by leaks and other anomalies. The technology has already saved Dubai 68.45 million gallons since its implementation in April 2021.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has found that smart ball leak detection has helped the authority immensely in monitoring for water leakages in water transmission pipelines.

The adoption is part of DEWA’s ongoing efforts to reduce water losses. The smart ball system consists of a small diameter sphere that is inserted into the water network where it travels freely, driven by the water flow.

Sounds generated by a leak, gas pocket or by other anomalies have unique characteristics; the sphere captures the sounds of these from inside the pipeline. It then uses remote software to diagnose and locate any leaks. The technology has already saved 68.45 million gallons and AED 2.74 million ($750,000 USD) since its implementation in April 2021.

DEWA achieved concrete savings in developing the water network to promote its effectiveness and reliability as well as raise the water flow to meet the comprehensive development needs as well as the growing demand. It provides its services for more than a million customers in Dubai.

DEWA has been able to reduce its water network losses to 5.1 percent, compared to 15 percent in North America. DEWA’s total installed capacity is 490 MIGD of water.

“In Dubai we have a comprehensive vision to ensure the sustainability of resources as part of the integrated strategy of managing water resources, which focuses on enhancing water resources, conserving consumption and using the latest technologies as well as innovative solutions,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “This includes operational technology. In 2014, DEWA commissioned the SCADA system at its sustainable building in Al Quoz. It enables DEWA to monitor the water transmission network in Dubai remotely, collect data round the clock in addition to water transmission pipelines, pumping stations and storage that extend over 2,300 kilometers with over 8,500 smart devices in the field.”

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