Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has awarded the joint venture of the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC) and South Korea’s Posco Engineering & Construction Company the estimated $430m contract to build a water storage scheme in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi emirate.

The project, which is first of its kind in the Middle East, involves the building and installing an underground aquifer storage scheme in the Liwa oasis area.

The 30-month construction contract involves drilling over 400 wells that will be used to recharge the aquifer with water, together with pumping stations, monitoring wells and treatment facilities.

The underground water will then be available in the event of a water emergency for pumping to the urban areas of Abu Dhabi city 150 kilometres away. The water will be transferred using a system of pumping stations and 130 kilometres of new pipeline that will connect to the existing water distribution network.

The ultimate aim of the project is to supply 40 million gallons of water a day, equivalent to 180,000 cubic metres a day, for up to 90 days.

The other bidder for the construction contract was the local Al-Jaber Group.

A German team of Dorsch Consult and GTZ is the consultant on the scheme.