First, can you let us know a little about your background?
I am a Graduate Civil Engineer from Alexandria University, Egypt with more than 32 Years of extensive experience in Design, Construction, Supervision, Operation and Maintenance of Major Infrastructure Projects in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. I am a certified QHSE Lead auditor, ISO 22301 BCM Internal Auditor, ISO 55001 AMS Internal Auditor and a certified Balanced Score Cards Professional. I have participated in the development & implementation of many enterprise-wide software and applications used by Ex.ADWEA/AADC including: GIS, CMMMS, OMS, HOMIS, and AQUIS real-time hydraulic model, AMS, DSM & CRM and much more. Since 2001, I am working at Al Ain Distribution Company as the Water O&M Division Manager. My key focus is to continue the digital transformation of the AADC water distribution network to be smart while maintaining economic leakage levels and O&M cost optimization as par international best practices.
Your Al Ain case study presentation is a session on ‘Smart Network Monitoring – Putting New Technology into Practice’. The case study demonstrates many components of a smart network and the resulting reduction in leakage is impressive. Has the system helped you to identify specific areas of leakage and other weaknesses in the network?
Well first of all the meticulous review and calculation of IWA water balance baseline for each DMA has helped us in understanding the basis system performance better, and prioritizes which DMAs to focus our efforts. One interesting result of the system is the clear trend that there is no, or very little, leakage from DMAs with pipeline age less than 10 years, another important observation was that 94% of the leaks found over the first 2 years were located on service connections, and this has helped us in improving our procedures.
In your opinion, which component demonstrates most the benefit of an integrated network – hydraulic modelling, automated water balance or noise loggers to guide leak detection? Or are all the components necessary for your data management system, HOMIS, to work efficiently?
The whole idea of the system is to improve the synergetic effect of integrating all sub- systems and thereby get access to more, and better, information. As an example it is now possible for us to evaluate the potential severity of leak alarms from the noise logger system by integration of noise logger data with the hydraulic model and the CIS. This enables us to combine information on the actual pipeline pressure and the hydraulic importance of the pipe and if there are any critical customers who will be affected if the pipe bursts. Thereby we can prioritize leak alarms, and we can even chose to react on a warning level if the location is very critical. At the 10th Global Leakage Summit in June, Mohamed will be speaking at an exclusive UAE focussed case study on their Integrated Approach to Managing a Water Network
Have you been able to maintain leakage in your case study area at the low figure, and what operational support (data analytics, leak detection) do you have in place to sustain such a low level? Was HOMIS developed in-house?
As part of the initial works we conducted monthly house-tohouse surveys to read the maters manually, to identify malfunctioning meters and to identify faulty connections (not illegal connections), connections that have not been correctly registered in our systems. Together with the online DMA monitoring, hydraulic modelling and noise loggers the NRW level was reduced to 2-10% for the DMAs, a few DMA that is less than 10 years of age even shows NRW at around 0%. This level was maintained thereafter. HOMIS is developed by one of our consultants, but the functionality and design for the implementation with AADC was heavily influenced by our requirements.
What advice would you give to delegates who are considering installing a similar integrated network monitoring system – where would they start?
Well, it all depends on the specific water company, but in general I would recommend starting by conducting a very thorough audit. Such an audit should be a combination of the standard water audit as described in AWWA M36, combined with mapping and assessment of all operational procedures and ICT systems in use. The outcome of such an audit and assessment will produce the knowledge required to design a system that will fit the actual water company, and be aligned with the overall strategy.
Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50- 100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues?
Our presentation will discuss the need to eliminating waste as one of the crucial water security challenges to overcome. In order to make safe, clean water reliably accessible to everyone, the reduction of waste is almost as important as securing the initial supply. The use of smart technology has a significant role to play here, as we’ve succeeded to reduce the NRW levels in Al Ain Region from 21 % in year 2010 to just below 10% in 2017. This was achieved through the integration of innovations including network zoning and sub-zoning , successive metering , pressure & flow management , real-time hydraulic modelling, automated water balance calculations and automatic leakage detection equipment.
What are you looking forward to at the 10th Global Leakage Summit in June?
The 10th Global Leakage Summit, for me, is an opportunity to Network with Industry and Utility Leaders, Exchange Information on Topical Case Studies and Learn More About Best Practice Technologies for Assessing, Monitoring and Reducing Leakage in Our Networks.