Middle East faces increased pressure on limited water resources

The Arab Water Council is confirmed to address the issue of water security in arid regions at the International Water Summit, 20-22 January 2014 in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: One of the Gulf region’s most influential water authorities, the Arab Water Council, has urged governments to keep water at the top of the political agenda.

Dr Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council, said that with the Middle East being one of the driest zones in the world, the issue of water must be taken seriously to help meet the challenges of water security.

“Governments need to address the priority needs to ensure there is sufficient water for their populations. They can start by preparing water plans for the short, medium and long term. They can also assess the available fresh water resources and develop them, and consider the non-conventional water resources including wastewater, salt water, wadi water and non-renewable groundwater,” said Dr Abu-Zeid.

Dr Abu-Zeid also urged the application of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) concept to ensure water sustainability.

“IWRM takes a coordinated approach to the development and management of water, land and associated sources and it has now been accepted internationally as the sustainable way forward. This concept involves liaising with the different stakeholders in planning, implementing and managing water resources,” said Dr Abu-Zeid.

Dr Abu-Zeid is one of the many regional and international water experts confirmed to present at the International Water Summit from 20 -22 January 2014 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Other water solutions experts confirmed for IWS 2014, hosted by Masdar with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) as a strategic partner, are Dr Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute; Tom Soo, Executive Director of the International Water Resources Association; Yosuke Matsumiya, Director, International Division, Technical Department at the Japan Sewage Works Association; Dr Mohammed Yousef Al Madfaei, Executive Director of Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector at Environment Agency Abu Dhabi; and Fady Juez, Managing Director of Metito.

“The level of regional and international expertise we are confirming for the International Water Summit next January reaffirms its status as the leading event for water security and sustainability in the Middle East,” said Ara Fernezian, Managing Director, Middle East for Reed Exhibitions.

“The key topics for the IWS conference program include integrated water resource management, water governance and strategy, water security and future water sustainability, and we are engaging international experts to join regional authorities in sharing their knowledge on overcoming challenges faced by arid regions,” said Mr Fernezian.

“The IWS 2014 exhibition will offer unlimited business opportunities to network and share case studies, best-practice and new technologies for long-term water solutions,” said Mr Fernezian.

IWS 2014 is a global platform that hosts world leaders, government organizations, policymakers, public and private sector investors, business leaders, consultants and water experts to interact, negotiate and finalise plans to develop diverse and sustainable water portfolios in the GCC and other regions.

About International Water Summit 2014 (IWS):

IWS 2014, hosted by Masdar, is a global platform that hosts world leaders, government organizations, policymakers, public and private sector investors, business leaders, consultants and water experts to interact, negotiate and finalise plans to develop diverse and sustainable water portfolios in the GCC and other regions.

The inaugural edition of International Water Summit 2013, hosted by Masdar with the strategic Partnership of ADWEA, was attended by over 4700 attendees from 75 countries and contributed significantly to addressing global water issues such as water scarcity in Arab regions, sustainable growth and economic development in arid regions, the future challenges of water availability and cross-boundary collaboration through international water governance and the water – energy nexus.

IWS 2014, from 20-22 January 2014, is co-located with World Future Energy Summit, also hosted by Masdar, as a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and renewable energy.

 

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