Expo puts spotlight on ME water shortage
Sharjah, July 5, 2011
Leading experts will be in Sharjah to discuss the issue of regional water scarcity at a three-day conference and also showcase solutions for wastewater treatment and reuse of grey water.
The inaugural exhibition and conference, Green Middle East, is being held at Expo Centre Sharjah in conjunction with Bee'ah, one of the region’s leading integrated environmental and waste management organisations.
The event will also address the wider-ranging environmental issues affecting Sharjah the UAE and the broader Middle East. Along with wastewater, it will also cover solid waste, air pollution, scrap metal, alternative energy and green buildings.
The event will also focus on the regulations, water quality standards and other legal and commercial issues of the industry, with international stakeholders from across the public and private sectors attending the event.
Water scarcity is one of the most pressing issues in the Middle East region, said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.
'The current global demand for clean water will triple by 2030 and many regions around the world will have to deal with shortages of water. In the Mena it is particularly acute,' said Midfa.
Green Middle East will discuss strategies and solutions to address supply challenges and opportunities for the sector,' he added.
A recent report from the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) forecasts that the GCC will be hardest hit by shortages within the region, due to a combination of low rainfall, climate change and population growth.
The report revealed that Saudi could expect the most severe water shortfall of 7.32 billion cu m, followed by Oman, Kuwait and the UAE, with projected water deficits of 1.8 billion, 1.3 billion and 840 milllion cubic metres respectively.
'Though desalination has been widely adopted across the Gulf for much of their water supply, the cost and energy intensity make it unsustainable. The only long term solution is conserving water and increasing efforts to treat wastewater and recycle,' he added.
Comprising an exhibition, conference, seminars and workshops, Green Middle East showcases many of the cutting-edge strategies, solutions and technologies that can be implemented in the region and globally in addressing water shortages.
Agriculture could be a significant benefactor of utilising treated wastewater, but the main issue currently is the inherent risks that wastewater can still contain bacteria, viruses and a wide range of parasitic organisms.
“From membrane filtration and ultraviolet disinfection to mobile water treatment plants for remote locations and effluent treatment technology for the food processing industry, a full array of new advances in the industry will be covered at the event,” said Al Midfa.-TradeArabia News Service