(MENAFN - Arab News) Gulf and Arab countries gathered at the four-day Water Desalination Conference in the Arab Countries (ARWADEX 2012) in Riyadh to discuss developments in the techniques and methods of water desalination in the region and activating the exchange of experiences gained from regional and global organizations in the field.
Abdullah Al-Hussayen, minister of water and electricity and chairman of the National Water Company, thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his patronage of the event, which began at King Faisal Hall for Conferences yesterday. The Ministry of Water and Electricity and Saline Water Desalination Research Institute are organizing the event.
In a statement on the occasion, Al-Hussayen said this sponsorship reflects the keenness and interest of the king and the government in water services that are being provided to citizens.
The minister said the conference was one of the important specialized conferences to be held to address issues of water desalination and discuss the scope of research in water desalination, technologies and sustainable economies.
He said this is the most important channel of communication to identify and achieve common goals sought at state level and by designers, manufacturers, contractors and developers.
He said previous conferences have contributed to the introduction of investment opportunities available to the private sector in the field of water desalination and research in matters relating to advisory activities and contracting. However, the minister said, this conference aims at developing desalination in the Arab countries.
The governor of the General Organization for Water Desalination (GOWD), Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Ibrahim, said the patronage of the king for the conference underlines the importance of this industry and the growing need in Arab countries in light of the scarcity of water available from potable resources and increasing population and urbanization.
He said: "The deterioration of water resources is one of the important issues faced by many Arab countries that are experiencing rapid population growth and facing a decline in the capacity of natural water sources, which requires nontraditional and innovative methods such as desalination of water."
He emphasized this conference comes in the context of interest in technology and the feasibility economics of the industry and its costs, operation and maintenance, as well as giving importance to environment. He added previous experiences would be reviewed and evaluated for probable use in the reorganization and restructuring of the sector and the water desalination in the Arab countries.
The conference program is as follows:
On Tuesday, the session will be addressed by Dr. Osaman Ahmed Hamad of the Saline Water Desalination Research Institute to discuss the Desalination Economics and Cost Evaluation. A panel of international experts will discuss the solution for membrane fouling. They include Prof. Harvey Winters, Prof. Harry Ridgway and Muhammad Tariq Khan of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, and Dr. Mohammed Saeed of SWDRI. Dr. Saleh Alfozan of SWDRI will talk on corrosion in desalination and power plants.
On day two, a number of work papers will be discussed under the chairmanship of Prof. Gary Amy, director of water desalination and reuse center at KAUST, while the first paper on limitations, improvements, alternatives of the silt density index will be presented by Dr. Abdusalam Al-Hadidi from University of Twente, Netherlands.
A second paper on treating salt and color water by ceramic membrane will be presented by Prof. Belouatek Aissa from the University Center of Relizane, Algeria.
A third paper on development and testing of new class of membranes for RO desalination will be presented by Prof. S.M. Javaid Zaidi, from KFUM; a fourth on performance evaluation of five years operation experience of WMZM RO desalination plant presented by Aziz Yousef Yaseen, head of the production quality unit at Jordan Company; and a fifth paper on synthesis and characterization of a carbon nonotube/polymer nanocomposite membrane for water treatment will be presented by Prof. Hosam A. Shaky, head of the water desalination unit at the Desert Research Center, Cairo.