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International Desalination Association supports International Water Summit as Knowledge Partner

United Arab Emirates: Monday, November 12 - 2012 @ 16:41

Scheduled for January 15-17, 2013 and co-located with the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the International Water Summit will bring together policymakers, scientists and business leaders to tackle the urgent water and wastewater challenges facing arid regions.

The global hub of information for the world’s desalination and water reuse communities, IDA will organize two sessions on the water-energy nexus. The Association will also convene its global Energy Task Force to develop strategies to further reduce energy consumption in desalination as part of the Task Force’s challenge to the industry to lower energy requirements by 20% by 2015.

In addition, the IDA Desalination Academy will conduct day-long intensive courses on January 14, offering two parallel tracks on desalination technologies as well as an advanced course covering membrane pretreatment.

“IDA is very pleased to support the International Water Summit. This event has particular relevance to IDA’s mission and follows exactly the message that IDA has spread strongly in the last five years about the need for sustainability and increased environmental responsibility in water solutions,” said Corrado Sommariva, President of the International Desalination Association.

“The desalination industry has been proactive in addressing energy efficiency and environmental stewardship as we help address water scarcity issues. While the initial focus, particularly in the Middle East, was to provide a reliable source of fresh water to ensure the beginning and blossoming of the region’s economy, the emphasis now includes making desalination a sustainable and environmentally responsible industrial solution. We have made tremendous progress in this regard mainly through innovation, but more still needs to be done,” said Sommariva.

“This Summit provides a platform to address issues that are essential not only for the desalination industry, but also for the continued development and success of the region’s community at large,” he added.

Today, the GCC produces nearly half the world’s desalinated water. Commenting on the relevance of this conference to the region and the significance of its co-location with the World Future Energy Summit, Sommariva offered the following observations.

“There is a strong relationship between desalination and energy. For example, in the Middle East, a great deal of the energy produced by thermal power plants is used to power desalination plants. A lot of energy that could be made available to the power grid is, in reality, directed towards the generation of water through desalination. The integration of water and energy is essential, and focusing on sustainable solutions for energy and water – desalination, in particular – is critical,” he said.

“The overall objective of sustainability and integration of renewable energy sources cannot proceed along with a parallel program of renewable desalination, energy efficiency and resource optimization,” he noted.

An Abu Dhabi resident since 1993, Sommariva added, “I have always enjoyed the vitality of this Emirate and the constant ambition of its people towards its development. Because of this, Abu Dhabi has risen to international prominence in the short span of 30 years. Moreover, Abu Dhabi was one of the first countries in the Middle East to undertake a strong and responsible approach towards energy. The Masdar initiative is unique not only in the GCC, but also worldwide. In addition, Abu Dhabi’s authorities were among the first to introduce new desalination technologies with the goal of reducing the power plant heat rates.”

“The emirate has also implemented some of the changes that are considered milestones in the industry. These include, in Al Taweelah and Umm Al Nar, the first large scale MED desalination plants. The site of Fujairah – managed by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) – can be defined as a ‘desalination park’ where all the main desalination technologies have been successfully implemented. We must give credit to Abu Dhabi and their authorities for a long competent and professional work in the water sector,” he said.

When asked what he would say to those who are considering attending the Summit, Sommariva commented, “We are fortunate to work in the water and energy fields. Our work comes with a social responsibility that this event captures entirely. It is up to us to ensure that the key message of this Summit does not go lost after it ends. We must continue to persevere in the research and application of more sustainable water and energy solutions for a better future.”

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Monday, November 12- 2012 @ 16:41 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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