On December 22nd 2015 Lotti, as leader of the JV Lotti-AI Engineering S.r.l., has been awarded the following service contracts with the Palestinian Water Authority, in the framework of the Project Implementation Consultant (PIC) for the Associated Works to Gaza Desalination Plant – WB (IDA) Financing:

  • Design, Tender Documents and Assistance during Tendering of water supply and distribution system in Gaza strip, for a duration of 18 months, and
  • Construction Supervision of the above mentioned works, for a duration of 36 months.

Ground Water Tanks2Example of Elevated Water Tanks in Gaza StripThe Project Owner, Executing Agency and Contracting Authority is the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).
The Project Beneficiary is the Coastal Municipality Water Utility (CMWU).

The supply of fresh water to the population of approximately 1.7 million in Gaza, at the present time, relies almost totally on the underlying groundwater. Minor volumes of fresh water (4.7 MCM/y) are imported from Israel. Further very small volumes arise from three desalination facilities in Gaza but these are currently insignificant at the strategic level.
That high groundwater production affected negatively the water level decline in terms of attitude and magnitude as a result of imbalance between the total groundwater aquifer renewable, of about 55-60 MCM/y, and the total groundwater abstraction of about 200 MCM/y for both domestic and agriculture use.
The water quality is a serious threat to the population health as well as for the coastal aquifer. Only few of the ground water wells produce water with quality matching the WHO limits. On the other hand, the salinity contamination and the wastewater-driven problems are usually characterized by high levels of chloride and nitrates in the groundwater, which are problematic in themselves, especially in relation to toxicity to infants and pregnant.
Three short term low volume desalination (STLV) plant projects are already under construction for short term mitigation of the existing deficit, but they provide less than proposed in the master plan. The above reflects the fact that the groundwater is being massively over-pumped and the aquifer is showing clear signs of imminent failure or collapse.
With the financial support of the European Investment Bank (EIB) the detailed design related to the construction and operation of the regional desalination facility, which comprises the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis treatment plant of 55 million cubic meters capacity per year, as per the water master plan for Gaza, is almost completed.
Blending of the desalinated water with groundwater to achieve a water quality in compliance with WHO and Palestinian standards, transmission of this water to all regions of the Gaza Strip and its distribution and efficient use will be necessary to make the desalination project sustainable.
The new water supply and distribution system shall take in consideration the planned needs of water supply until 2035 as indicated in the Comparative Study for Water Supply Options for Gaza, including consequences of the expansion of the above mentioned desalination plant from 55 MCM/y first phase capacity, up to 110 MCM/y capacity, if necessary.

The objective of the assignment is to provide the consultancy services required to implement the Associated Works to the Regional Desalination Plant in the Gaza Strip aiming to improve the water supply situation through efficient use of desalinated water and precious groundwater while ensuring technical as well as financial sustainability of its operation.

The specific objectives of this project are:

  • To blend the desalinated water with groundwater by construction of storage and blending reservoirs in such way that the resulting overall water quality in all of Gaza complies with WHO and Palestinian drinking water standards;
  • To design and construct a transmission system i.e. the north – south carrier and the necessary distribution system with sufficient hydraulic capacity to transport this water to the end consumers, ensuring a quality service level;
  • To put operation and maintenance of the new system on a sustainable track, by determining the costs of operation and maintenance in order to estimate a transparent subsidy regime for the initial years of operation;
  • Provide technical assistance to the CMWU and Municipal Water Departments in technical and commercial operation of their existing and the newly constructed facilities;
  • To develop a NRW reduction plan and an Energy management plan.
  • To coordinate with CMWU’s separate efforts reduce non-revenue water
  • To coordinate with CMWU’s separate efforts to quantify the socio-economic impacts of utility bills on Gaza households.
  • To plan the power supply system needed to operate it’s the Associated Works based on the feasible alternative to be investigated.

In order to achieve these ambitious goals the following tasks shall be accomplished:

During Design and Tender Documents phase

  • Review of previous studies and evaluate the existing infrastructures;
  • Elaborate and Manage the Groundwater data and create a dedicated database producing thematic maps;
  • Develop the Hydraulic Model for the whole Water Supply system in Gaza strip;
  • Perform the Detailed Design for the all components of the WS system;
  • Prepare a realistic Non-Revenue Water Reduction Plan including Investment Plan and Financial and Cost Modelling Operation Plan;
  • Develop the Preliminary ESIA and Public Awareness Improvement Program;
  • Identify the energy needed for the associated works components, study the energy alternatives and update the Energy Management Plan;
  • Prepare the Tender Documents for the Contractors and follow up the Complete Tendering Process;
  • Support Services and On-the-Job Training for PWA and CMWU staff.

During Construction Supervision phase

  • Review the contracts documentation and work plans submitted by the Contractors;
  • Check the compliance between Safety Plan of the Project and Operational Safety Plan from the Contractor;
  • Develop Supervision Strategy and Construction Management System;
  • Supervise Administrative, Financial and Technical Project Management of the Works;
  • Supervise Health, Safety, Environmental and Social Performance Management of the Works;
  • Check the progress of works;
  • Coordinate and monitor actions for safety on site;
  • Give instructions to workers about risks in different phases of work through scheduled and programmed meetings;
  • Accomplish all the tasks during the construction close-out and the Defects Liability Period.PLAN En REV5Gaza Water Distribution System

The main Project features are the following:

  • Population of Gaza strip: 1.7 million inhabitants;
  • Water supplied for domestic use in Gaza Strip: 88,466 MCM in 2014
  • Project area: 365 square kilometers;
  • Construction of about 37 Kilometers of water distribution system;
  • Replacement of about 21 kilometers of old and undersized water pipes;
  • Construction of North South Carrier consisting of about 40.7 Kilometers of pipeline with diameter ranging from 200mm up to 1200 mm;
  • Construction of North loop consisting of about 16.2 Kilometers of pipeline with diameter ranging from 200 mm up to 1000 mm;
  • Construction of Middle loop consisting of about 11 Kilometers of pipeline with diameter ranging from 200mm up to 600 mm;
  • Construction of South loop consisting of about 25.2 Kilometers of pipeline with diameter ranging from 200mm up to 800 mm;
  • Construction of about 12 pumping stations;
  • Construction of 5 main booster stations along the carrier;
  • Construction of blending water tanks for a total capacity of about 200,000 m³.