Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces

International Water Summit: Making Every Drop Count

Tuesday December 11, 2012

• 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’s
attention-grabbing boom, the Middle East might have been notorious for its
efforts to solve the water scarcity conundrum. 

According to the UN,
water use has been growing at twice the rate of population growth in the last
century. Environmental factors such as climate change, the industrialization
and urbanization of growing economies, and human activities like mass
consumption
, misuse and
pollution, have put the global water supplies under enormous stress. It is
estimated that by 2025, more than 1.8 billion people will be living in
countries with absolute water scarcity – a problem that is exacerbated in arid
regions like the Middle East.

Although the word
“arid” brings to mind vast stretches of scorching hot desert, in reality the
term applies not only to the Middle East and Africa, but also to parts of
Europe, Australia, south-East Asia, as well as the US.

Water is not only
vital for every living being. It is also associated with a country’s social and
economic development. Thus when it comes to arid regions, finding solutions to
water-scarcity is less of a “green cause” and more of a pressing necessity.

“This is precisely why
we came up with the Sustainable Solutions Village”, says Peter McConnell, Show
Director of the inaugural International Water Summit (IWS) that will take place
from 15-17 January in Abu Dhabi. “We wanted to create a space where people can
find out how these regions are trying to solve their water problems, to offer
them the opportunity to learn, exchange ideas and know-how, to inspire and be
inspired”.

The Sustainable
Solutions Village is a feature of the IWS Exhibition, which will be running for
the duration of the International Water Summit. The village will be divided
into two areas; one is dedicated to water solutions for rural communities and
the other is a presentation space that will showcase regional water sector best
practice.

“We have confirmed the
participation of some of the world’s most prominent water sector entities, such
as the United Nations Development Programme and the Environmental Outreach Division of
EAD”, Mr McConnell says. “We
have also included a number of lively panel discussions and interactive
sessions to engage visitors and encourage interaction. It is a unique
opportunity for anyone involved with water and energy, directly or indirectly.
All these people are bringing in their expertise and experience to help tackle
one of the planet’s biggest problems”.

Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO
of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company, part of Borouge & Borealis, points out that
water plays a vital part in food production – an issue that is critical to
rural communities who rely heavily on growing their own crops for economic
growth, and, in some cases, even survival.

“Agriculture uses 80%
of the fresh water. By 2050, the demand for food is projected to increase by 70
per cent and, without intervention, untenable pressure on water resources in
many regions in the world will threaten food and water security.”

“Clearly we need to
work 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”, Mr
Alhajri concludes.

Ends

Editor’s Notes:

The International Water Summit (IWS) is
hosted by Masdar, with Borouge and Borealis being the principal sponsor, and
Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority a strategic partner.

IWS will be co-located with the World
Future Energy Summit, also hosted by Masdar, as part of Abu Dhabi
Sustainability Week (13 – 17 January 2013), alongside the International
Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC)  and the 3rd session of the Assembly of IRENA.

For more information,
contact:

Ian Mason

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Tel: +971507395429

ian.mason@bm.com



 

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