• International Water Summit to introduce the Sustainable Solutions Village during the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi (15-17 January 2013)
• Leading organisations to lend their expertise at the Sustainable Solutions Village
• Case studies and regional knowledge to be shared within the Sustainable Solutions Village
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11 December 2012: Had it not been for the black gold’sattention-grabbing boom, the Middle East might have been notorious for itsefforts to solve the water scarcity conundrum.
According to the UN,water use has been growing at twice the rate of population growth in the lastcentury. Environmental factors such as climate change, the industrializationand urbanization of growing economies, and human activities like massconsumption, misuse andpollution, have put the global water supplies under enormous stress. It isestimated that by 2025, more than 1.8 billion people will be living incountries with absolute water scarcity – a problem that is exacerbated in aridregions like the Middle East.
Although the word“arid” brings to mind vast stretches of scorching hot desert, in reality theterm applies not only to the Middle East and Africa, but also to parts ofEurope, Australia, south-East Asia, as well as the US.
Water is not onlyvital for every living being. It is also associated with a country’s social andeconomic development. Thus when it comes to arid regions, finding solutions towater-scarcity is less of a “green cause” and more of a pressing necessity.
“This is precisely whywe came up with the Sustainable Solutions Village”, says Peter McConnell, ShowDirector of the inaugural International Water Summit (IWS) that will take placefrom 15-17 January in Abu Dhabi. “We wanted to create a space where people canfind out how these regions are trying to solve their water problems, to offerthem the opportunity to learn, exchange ideas and know-how, to inspire and beinspired”.
The SustainableSolutions Village is a feature of the IWS Exhibition, which will be running forthe duration of the International Water Summit. The village will be dividedinto two areas; one is dedicated to water solutions for rural communities andthe other is a presentation space that will showcase regional water sector bestpractice.
“We have confirmed theparticipation of some of the world’s most prominent water sector entities, suchas the United Nations Development Programme and the Environmental Outreach Division ofEAD”, Mr McConnell says. “Wehave also included a number of lively panel discussions and interactivesessions to engage visitors and encourage interaction. It is a uniqueopportunity for anyone involved with water and energy, directly or indirectly.All these people are bringing in their expertise and experience to help tackleone of the planet’s biggest problems”.
Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEOof Abu Dhabi Polymers Company, part of Borouge & Borealis, points out thatwater plays a vital part in food production – an issue that is critical torural communities who rely heavily on growing their own crops for economicgrowth, and, in some cases, even survival.
“Agriculture uses 80%of the fresh water. By 2050, the demand for food is projected to increase by 70per cent and, without intervention, untenable pressure on water resources inmany regions in the world will threaten food and water security.”
“Clearly we need towork together to increase the water-efficiency of food production, or more‘crops per drop’, and cut the high level of waste within the food chain”, MrAlhajri concludes.
The International Water Summit (IWS) ishosted by Masdar, with Borouge and Borealis being the principal sponsor, andAbu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority a strategic partner.
IWS will be co-located with the WorldFuture Energy Summit, also hosted by Masdar, as part of Abu DhabiSustainability Week (13 – 17 January 2013), alongside the InternationalRenewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC) and the 3rd session of the Assembly of IRENA.
For more information,contact:
Abu Dhabi, UAE