Oman's Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) announced the launch of an automation system to regulate the Sultanate's potable water infrastructure.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that will help PAEW centrally monitor and manage potential leaks, breakdowns and other deficiencies in its expanding water networks.
The system will also detect unauthorised intrusions into secure water-related facilities in operation at remote locations around the country.
As a long-range study, the national SCADA system will be master-planned to take into account projections in the growth of Oman's potable water infrastructure, according to the expert.
A 30-year horizon has been envisioned in the design of the system.
Veolia Water is assisting PAEW in the generation of a long-term National SCADA Master Plan for the nation's water infrastructure.
The French-based firm is already supporting the PAEW in enhancing the performance of Oman's water sector and reducing water losses, among other goals, under a long-term partnership arrangement.
The SCADA project, along with the high-end instrumentation and software systems that come with it, is a reflection of the complexity and high value of PAEW's water networks encompassing assets that start at production facilities and end at consumer taps, according to Thierry Regad, project director and SCADA and automation expert for Veolia.
Securing this infrastructure, which includes such assets as well fields, reverse osmosis plants, elevated tanks, water reservoirs, tanker filling stations, pumping and control equipment, and so on, is of critical importance, Regad noted.
Experts from Veolia, with PAEW personnel, have already completed a preliminary inspection of an estimated 340 sites that together make up PAEW's water supply infrastructure.
These inspections will pave the way for a precise and comprehensive mapping of the PAEW's water related assets, said Regad.
When implemented and commissioned, Oman's sprawling water infrastructure will be secured by a national SCADA system that will be monitored and managed centrally via a National Control Centre.
Additionally, each governorate will have its own regional control centre. The operation of networks will be fully automated as well.
In contrast, the country's water networks are presently monitored by a multiplicity of control rooms, numbering over 25, that operate independently of each other.
Once operationalised, the new national SCADA system will be of the essence in the real-time operation and maintenance of Oman's water storage and supply infrastructure, he added in conclusion.