Water is precious. Yet every day there are visible and invisible losses of this precious resource, through failing distribution networks.
These are losses this region can ill-afford. Much of the water going to all the wrong places, or simply disappearing into the ground, is desalinated, or to put it more simply, expensive.
The cost of these losses adds up and it is about opportunity, as much as it is about dollars. To sustain the region’s growth we must consider not only the rehabilitation of existing water distribution networks, but the future development of new water distribution networks to serve expanding population centres and underdeveloped communities.
This is easily said. The reality of carrying out the work is somewhat different. There are considerable technical challenges and the scale of the work is considerable. Priorities will have to be clearly identified and will inevitably leave some people disappointed.
Looking to global best-practice in the design of a water distribution networks will help. Examining the techniques and technologies available, to optimise the operation and maintenance of water distribution networks, will also aid progress. Finding the right technologies for the region will take time and appropriate field testing, but the benefits will eventually outweigh the costs.
Effective water networks result in economic and environmental gains. It would be a waste if this region didn’t look to take advantage of them.
Utilities Middle East will host a conference on water distribution networks on June 30, in Dubai.