Masdar City

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

CH2M HILL is the Program Manager for the Masdar City (the City), a sustainable city in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates led by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. The City will rely entirely on renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. Initiated in 2006, the project is projected to cost $22 billion, with the first phase scheduled to be complete and habitable in 2009.

The city will cover 5.96 square kilometers (2.3 square miles) and will be home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily commercial and manufacturing facilities specializing in environmentally-friendly products. An expected 40,000 workers will commute to the City daily. Automobiles will be banned within the City; travel will be via public mass transit and personal rapid transit systems, with existing roads and railways connecting to other locations outside the City.

The City’s water system uses water portfolio management principles to treat all parts of the water cycle as potential resources. This approach includes aggressive use of a variety of water sources, including groundwater, seawater, surface runoff, rainwater harvesting, dew/fog capture, grey water reuse, black water reuse, and resource recovery for urine streams.

Planning for such intensive management requires infrastructure to support the collection of waste streams and the distribution of water to serve specified uses, which vary by source type.

As many as nine separate water conveyance systems will be employed in the City to serve 12 defined uses over at least three distinct treatment levels. Several of the technologies to be used are experimental and require pilot testing to establish technical and economic feasibility.

In keeping with the zero-waste, sustainable philosophy, the team recognizes the importance of integrating water management with other resource sectors, including energy and solid waste.

Masdar Project Summary