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‘Remote reading’ of water meters


Muscat, March 14  - The Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam) will soon implement a new system of reading water meters, called “remote reading”.

Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrooqi, CEO, Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam), said in an annual media meet on Wednesday that the first phase will see introduction of the system for 5,000 subscribers in the Muscat Governorate.

The second phase will cover customers in other wilayats.

He also said all the meter reading staff are Omanis.

The CEO said the red tide phenomenon along the Batinah coast has been brought under control and it has not affected water supply in the neighbouring governorates.

The water problem, he said, was solved through the pumping of water from Sohar desalination station to Batinah South and from Ghubra to Seeb.

Diam has been able to maintain a “planned demand ceiling” during the peak period, which stands at 100 per cent, he said. Talking about the plan to use alternative energy, he said the authority seeks to produce at least 10 per cent of the energy via alternative sources by 2025.

“We have taken a serious initiative in this regard in cooperation with other parties such as the Authority for Electricity Regulation, which has already considered using solar power in houses and schools. Besides, the Rural Areas Electricity Company is working to replace diesel-operated stations with solar or wind.”

The project will cover 11 sites. They are expected to operational soon.

Abdulaziz al Shethani, DG of Planning and Asset Management, spoke about water demand and supply.

The average water demand is 6 per cent every year. “We provided nine million cubic metres per day in 2016 and the number of subscribers has been increasing.”

Diam has a total of eight desalination plants, including three each in Ghubra Barka and one each in Suhar and Sur for taking care of the water needs of residents.

This year, three more desalination plants will come up in Suhar, Barka and Qurayat with a capacity to produce 250,000 281,000 and 200,000 cubic metres of water respectively every day.

One plant will be set up in Ibri in 2019, four in 2021 in Jalan Bani Bu Ali, Masiar, Khasab and Wadi Dayqah, one in Ghubra in 2022 and another in Shinas in 2023.

The authority is considering building an artificial groundwater reservoir for storing excess water produced by all sources during winter and reusing it during emergencies.

“The five-year plan (2016-2020) seeks to implement 43 projects, including four strategic projects, 22 distribution networks and 17 different schemes at a cost of RO 1,258,069,377,” said Al Shethani. Abdullah al Nuaimi, DG (Operations), said Diam had succeeded in detecting leakages and managing pressure to save water.

“We have 12 Omani teams trained and equipped with state-of-art tools to detect leakages,” he added.

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