The Arab Water Council is getting ready for the 5th edition of the Arab Water Forum (AWF) scheduled to be convened in Dubai. The Forum will kick off, in both hybrid and physical form, under the central theme “Arab Water Security for Peace and Sustainable Development” from 21st – 23rd September 2021, WAM reports.
The forum will be held under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure and supported by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt (MWRI), in cooperation with national, regional and international partners.
The conference will shed the light on some of the key topics such as Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, Climate Change Impact on Arab Water Security, Water Desalination as a Strategic Option for Sustainable Arab Water Security, Sharing Water and Benefits for Peace and Development, Effective Water Governance towards Achieving Peace and Stability, Hydro-diplomacy and Water Politics in Transboundary Water Management, Riparian Partnerships in Developing and Managing shared Water Resources and Governing Laws, among others.
More than 800 high-level participants including government ministers and undersecretaries, high government officials, public and private sector organizations from 22 countries, are expected to attend the three-day forum that will witness more than 50 experts discussing water scarcity and sustainable development across the region.
During the event, the winners of the 2021 Arab Water Prize for “Creativity and Innovation in the field of Water Science”, awarded to institutions, scientists and other distinguished contributors in research and development in the field of Non-Conventional Water Resources, will be announced.
During the preparatory meeting, which was attended by more than 80 participants, Prof. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, AWC President, said, “This meeting aims to discuss the main agenda of the 5th Arab Water Forum. The 2021 edition of the Arab Water Forum will feature three days of panel sessions and scientific sessions, along with the Arab Water Expo. This year, the forum will focus on three main priorities: Arab Water Security, Cooperation across Borders, and Water for Sustainable Development. We are waiting for your participation and experiences.”
He added, “The Forum is held at a time when water scarcity is at a critical level as the demand for clean water increases due to population growth. The World Bank reports show that the Middle East and North Africa are home to 6 percent of the world’s population, with less than 2 percent of the world’s renewable water supply.”
Dr. Mohamed Al Mulla, Director of the Water Resources Department at the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, said, “Our primary goal, as the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, is to achieve sustainability in several fields such as energy, water, mining and industry, which are all linked to each other, to achieve the well-being and prosperity of our society. The 5th edition of the Arab Water Forum will allow us to discuss many of the important issues and to exchange visions and experiences of the attendees.”
According to a recent report issued by the leading research website “Research and Markets”, the value of investments in water and sanitation projects in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to reach $133.2 billion, of which $19.1 billion have already been spent in 2019 and $30.8 billion in 2020.
The report, titled “Most Insights on Water and Sanitation Projects in the Middle East and North Africa”, stated that the value of the current investments in pre-establishment projects is $40.3 billion, and another $58.8 billion are expected to be invested during the main establishment stages. At the same time, the value of projects under planning is $4.9 billion and projects in the pre-planning stage are $29.1 billion.
The report added that if all the water and sewage pipeline projects are implemented as planned, the value of investments this year will reach $30.8 billion before declining to $7.3 billion in 2023. The value of the terminated projects in 2021 will reach $28.7 billion, which is the highest value ever; the large proportion of these investments goes to the water desalination projects with a value of $52.7 billion. The Middle East and North Africa region currently holds 47% of the global portfolio of water desalination projects.