International Water Summit to Address Resource Sustainability and Water Security in Arid Regions
Middle East and North African governments are expected to spend an estimated US$300 billion on water and desalination projects by 2022, underscoring the importance of January 2015’sInternational Water Summit when more than 70 global experts will address key water sustainability and security challenges in the region.
Hosted by Masdar, IWS is supported by Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, the Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB), and Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company.
The exhibition and conference will take place from January 19-22, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), scheduled for January 17-24. ADSW also features the World Future Energy Summit, EcoWaste and the Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards.
Entitled ‘Promoting Water Sustainability in Arid Regions,’ the IWS conference (January 20-22) will examine the water-energy nexus and its long-term implications on regional and global food security. The projected spending is based on data from Research and Markets.
“With Abu Dhabi’s population and economy forecast to grow steadily over the coming years, harmonizing strategies that support the sustainable supply of potable water is of key importance to that growth,” said Rashed Al Rashdi, deputy director general at Abu Dhabi’s Regulation and Supervision Bureau, a partner of IWS.
“The International Water Summit is a prime opportunity to share global best practices, and promote collaborative efforts towards conserving precious resources for future generations and ensuring water is available to support future economic prosperity and social development.” continued Al Rashdi.
Next year marks the end of the UN’s ‘Decade for Action on Water Scarcity,’ an initiative designed to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments – known as the Millennium Declaration – made toward water and water-related issues.
Ahead of the summit Faraj El-Awar, Programme Manager of UN Habitat’s Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance and participant at the IWS conference said: “Water is perhaps the most complex of the three major resource challenges because it is seen as a free resource and declared by the UN General assembly in 2010 as a human right. Yet the reality in arid regions is that it is a scarce and incredibly precious resource. This must be reflected through robust policies, integrated strategies and sustained investment, particularly as populations grow.
“The GCC region’s unique climate conditions and resource challenges mean it cannot address its water issues in isolation,” continued El-Awar. “Water’s relationship with energy and food is critical. At a time when action is necessary, the International Water Summit unites leading thinkers, the scientific community and industry players to advance viable solutions.”
“Nothing is more important to the region’s social and economic future than securing water resources,” concluded El-Awar, “so demand management must be the main focus of regional and global leaders when they meet in Abu Dhabi.”
Other key topics on the conference agenda include:
- Water conservation and future water sustainability
- Strategic direction within the GCC
- Regional project investment
- Integrated water resource management
- Improving water re-use
- Use of water in industry, both for energy and manufacturing
- Smart water technology and creating water network efficiency
- Energy efficient and clean technology desalination
- Used water treatment and the use of water in commercial buildings
- The nexus of water and energy in food security