Dubai's Lost Water Towers

Dubai Water Tower


Sources of Fresh Water for Dubai were only located in 1961. Developing a Fresh Water Distribution System necessitated finding a means to deliver fresh water under pressure to the usual domestic outlets. Solution was to build high level water storage tanks at locations throughout Dubai. By pumping water from underground sources up into these tanks, gravity could then take over and provide enough pressure to deliver fresh water to people's homes and workplaces. By the 1990s these tanks became redundant and were removed. They are now part of Dubai's history.

Dubai's Water Towers: A Brief History

Water Towers were a critical part of Dubai's Fresh Water Supply System from 1960s through to 1990s. These purpose designed tanks were manufactured by Braithwaites UK and imported as Kits to be assembled onsite. These tanks could hold in the region of half a million litres of fresh water. Each tank was located in a specific area of Dubai then mounted atop a steel framed structure so the tank was elevated about 20 metres above ground. Fresh Water was pumped from the Awir Wells through underground pipes to the base of each tank where a Pumping Station transferred the water up into the tank. These elevated tanks connected into the domestic fresh water system with their height providing the necessary water pressure to deliver fresh water into houses, hotels etc.

Overtime Dubai's sources of fresh water changed. Awir Wells no longer had capacity to meet the growing demand for fresh water. New sources, such as desalination, eventually became the primary sources of water supply and the elaborate pumping systems and storage tanks were no longer required. These Water Towers became redundant in the 1990s and were dismantled and disappeared from Dubai's skyline..