Posted on October 30, 2016

The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ held a coordination meeting last week with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). During the meeting, a presentation was given about the steps taken to enhance the unified work procedures with the municipalities related to the rain preparedness plan. The presentation took place in the Assets Affairs headquarter and was attended by officials of services departments in the municipalities and the representatives of Drainage Operations and Maintenance Department in Ashghal.

Ashghal’s presentation included detailed explanation of the steps followed and agreed on to improve rain preparedness procedures and processes. These steps included a group of organised procedures to enhance collaboration and coordination between the concerned entities, most importantly MME, the National Control Centre and Qatar Meteorology Department. As part of this coordination, 395 employees from Ashghal and the MME will be notified through SMS about the possibility of rainfall and the change of alert levels, after approving a unified mechanism of escalating and decreasing the alert level between Ashghal and MME.

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It is worth mentioning that Ashghal completed its rain preparedness plan implemented annually by Assets Affairs. This plan included developing the Operation Management Centre to manage and control rain emergencies, and to do simulation training for the teams to be trained to deal with emergencies. The plan also included increasing the capacity of the Call Centres and Customer Zones to response to emergencies around the clock, in addition to preparing equipment including pumps and electricity generators and check their readiness, and distributing them in all areas where rainwater overflow is expected, to shorten the response time.

As part of the preparedness plan, maintenance works and inspections of rainwater drainage system took place, which included cleaning more than 45 thousand manholes regularly, in addition to preventative maintenance and cleaning of the tunnels pumping stations. Also preventative maintenance works took place for mechanical and electrical equipment and the rainwater drainage and its extension, and backup power generators were distributed on the main pumping stations. Regarding areas that don’t have rain drainage networks, there is a coordination with the MME for Ashghal to support municipalities responsible for these internal areas according to the need to deal with possible rainwater overflow in some of these areas.

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It is worth mentioning that the Drainage Operation and Maintenance Department in Ashghal has started in March 2016 the implementation of a new technological system for ongoing live monitoring of ground and surface water drainage networks and sewage networks. When this project is completed, the department will be able to monitor the performance of drainage networks and provide comprehensive, live and accurate data to take necessary proactive steps and procedures. This system will contribute in monitoring the capacity and performance of the surface and groundwater network and the flow resulting from water coming from the swage and rain water. The system will also provide a clearer picture and early alert of the overflow level, which increases Ashghal’s capacity to manage rainy season problems by sending alerts when water levels increase in the drainage networks to set the priorities.