His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality, has approved Dh1.3 billion for the implementation of the first stage of the rainwater and groundwater drainage project for the Al Maktoum Airport area, the Expo 2020 area and the nearby urban complexes covering 400 square kilometers.
Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the second phase of the project is under consideration for approval, which will raise the total cost of the project to Dh2.5 billion.
The rainwater drainage system will be able to discharge 6 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to 2,600 Olympic swimming pools, at a rate of one minute to complete pumping of one of these pools. It is said to benefit Dubai for 100 years without maintenance.
"The project involves collecting and transporting of rain and groundwater through underground tunnels into the Gulf waters for disposal as a long-term solution to tackle the issue of rainwater drainage for the 100 years to come," he said.
Eng. Talib Julfar, Assistant Director General of the Municipality for Environment and Public Health Services Sector, said launching the mega project in conjunction with the opening of Expo 2020 confirms a qualitative development in the Middle East.
"It will contribute in providing the emirate with many places of entertainment and services with a global perspective as a smart city," he said.
Eng. Mohammed Ahmed Al Rayes, Acting Director of Sewage and Irrigation Department, said discharging 6 million cubic meters of water will be enough to protect Al Maktoum Airport, the Expo 2020 area and the surrounding areas from the risk of rainwater harvesting.
"[Rainwater can] affect development operations, cause disruptions, and stop activities. The new project will save the government with millions of dirhams per year that was used for operation and maintenance of the usual infrastructure used in solving such problems. It will also rationalize land consumption for public and commercial activities and will save about 30% of the consumed electrical power that could have been consumed in the case of the usual systems," he said.
Al Rayes pointed out that the project includes the establishment of a main line for the collection of rainwater to serve the airport area and Expo 2020 area of the project that is equivalent to the total area of Deira area.
He said the project, which includes digging of two tunnels with depths ranging from 40 to 50 meters with a diameter of 10 meters and 10.5 kilometers long extension pipes, has been assigned to the contractor to start implementation.
Al Rayes added that the underground rainwater drainage lines will be built using innovative tunnel technology and thus minimizing the damage of construction works. "Developing this strategic tunnel is vital and the latest tunnel technology will ensure that during the implementation period, it will minimize the structural damage on the ground, including roads, traffic and other facilities," he said.
Al Rayes said the new rainwater and ground water collection network has been designed with great care to preserve the desert and coastal environment.
This article was originally published here on khaleejtimes.com