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A new monthly bulletin to cover important news & events in MENA water research, training, innovation and development cooperation.
 
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The Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) marked World Water Day under the theme, ‘Water for Jobs’ at its headquarters in Al Hail.

Celebrated on March 22 every year, World Water Day has been designated by the United Nation’s General Assembly to highlight water-related issues in the world.

Through this year’s theme, UN is seeking to highlight the importance of jobs in the water sector. The chief guest for the event was Dr Mohammed al Busaidi, head of the North America department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

MEDRCs World Water Day 2016 was launched with a walk on the 20th of March 2016, from Barka 1 plant (one of the main plants in Oman) to arrive to MEDRCs premises on the 22nd of March 2016 with intermittent student’s participation from Khouris Al Haboos School. READ MORE
 
LocalNews
MEDRC links Oman's traditional water engineering with desalination tech
Muscat - The Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) is on a mission - to connect Oman's traditional water engineering with  latest in desalination technology. READ MORE

New water projects at Sharqiyah, Duqm and Salalah
Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), which oversees the procurement of all new electricity generation and water desalination capacity in the Sultanate, has unveiled plans for the near simultaneous development of Independent Water Projects (IWPs) at Salalah, Sharqiyah and Duqm. READ MORE

 
Barka Project in Oman Shortlisted for Desal Plant of the Year by Global Water Intelligence
Osmoflo's Barka project located in Oman has been shortlisted by GWI for the Desal Plant of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Global Water Awards in Abu Dhabi on April 19th. READ MORE


Repairs on at Sohar desal plant to restore supply; PAEW asks people to rationalize consumption
Repair works are still on at the Sohar Desalination Plant, which experienced a technical failure recently affecting water supply. READ MORE


Oman signs US$ 300 million water project agreement 
Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, the sultanate's sole procurer of new power generation and water desalination capacity, has signed water project agreements worth 115 million rial (US$ 300 million). READ MORE

SUEZ wins the contract to build and operate a desalination plant in the sultanate of Oman 
Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP), the company in charge of water and energy supply in the Sultanate of Oman, has chosen the Barka Desalination Company, a consortium made up of SUEZ and its partners to finance, build and operate a new seawater desalination plant in Barka. READ MORE
RegionalNews
Ministers from the Mediterranean commit to measures to further reduce pressures on their marine and coastal environment
During a high level event of the Barcelona Convention CoP 19 meeting, hosted by the Greek Government in Athens, Mediterranean ministers and parties contracted to the Convention renewed their commitment to enhance measures to reduce pressures on their marine and coastal environment. READ MORE


Western Mediterranean countries moving towards an Action Plan for water 
Following the endorsement of the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean (WSWM) in Algiers on 31 March 2015, the water group of the 5+5 dialogue has been actively working on the preparation of an action plan and related projects. The second technical meeting was held in Valencia on 24 and 25 February 2016. READ MORE

UfM: launches a new regional workshop
The BlueGreen Med-CS project seeks to promote water and environment cooperation in civil society. The project is based on a capacity building programme that will enable more than 120 civil society organisations (CSOs) to acquire skills in various environmental areas. With a starting budget of €3.3 million, it will be initially implemented in Albania, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia during 2015-2017 in partnership with the Horizon 2020 Initiative and the United Nations Development Program. READ MORE


EU: To finance 6M euro 'Irrigation in Jordan Valley' project
The Jordanian Water Ministry and the German Development Bank (KfW) signed recently a financing agreement for the "Irrigation in the Jordan Valley" project. The scheme is fully funded by the EU through a grant of around 6 million euros (some JD4.7 million), according to a statement released by the KfW and the EU. READ MORE

Jordan: 7 Ideas for Science Diplomacy in the Middle East
Science diplomacy has remerged as an essential tool for building bridges between nations. In the Middle East, it offers new prospects for cooperation and negotiation. Here are seven ways science diplomacy can be fostered in the region. READ MORE

Jordan: seeking innovative solutions for energy and the environment
Jordanian business association EDAMA organised a breakfast meeting on the theme: “The European Union (EU) & European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD): Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Plans for Jordan”, in Amman on 15 February 2016. READ MORE

Palestine: significant progress made on UfM desalination project in Gaza 
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has announced on its website that “significant progress” has been made on its desalination project for the Gaza Strip, after a final agreement was reached on the project's financing plan on 15 February 2016. READ MORE

Palestine: new wastewater plant to serve people and agriculture 
Palestinian Prime Minister Dr Rami Al Hamallah and the EU Representative in Palestine Ralph Tarraf laid the foundation stone of a wastewater treatment plant in Tubas on 22 February 2016. This large-scale project will serve around 34,000 people living in Tubas, Tayasir, and Aqqaba. It will also provide treated water for agricultural use. The EU is a major actor in water and environmental protection in Palestine. READ MORE
 
Lebanon: Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in the Agricultural Sector Using Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Tools
The United Nations Development Account Project on Developing the Capacities of the Arab Countries for Climate Change Adaptation by Applying Integrated Water Resources Management Tools project seeks to assist Arab Governments to build their capacity for climate change adaptation by applying integrated water resources management (IWRM) tools.  READ MORE

Egypt: talks held on water resources and waste water
European and Egyptian officials inaugurated the fourth EU-Water Talks in Cairo where they exchanged views on national investment projects in the water sector, the EU Delegation in Egypt said in a press release issued on 14 March 2016. The two-day event gathered over 150 experts, academics, senior government officials and project managers of donor agencies.. READ MORE

Egypt: Far East trio size up Suez Canal zone for desalination
Singaporean company Hyflux, along with Japanese industrial giants, Mitsubishi Matoto, and Toyota Tsusho have started feasibility studies for power plants and water desalination facilities in East Port Said, Egypt. READ MORE
 
Morocco: International Conference on Water, Energy and Climate Change in Marrakech, June 1-4, 2016
On the occasion of the COP22, the National Center for Studies and Research on Water and Energy (CNEREE) of Cadi Ayyad University is organizing an international conference on Water, Energy and Climate Change (WECC-2016). This conference will be held in partnerships with national and international research institutions and development stakeholders.  READ MORE

Morocco: Workshop Participants Stress Need for More Desalination in MENA
The final workshop for the MENA NWC-funded project “The Use of Green Nanoparticles and Biofouling Resistant Agents in Reverse Osmosis Desalination” was held February 24–25 in Morocco. The two-day event, hosted by the International Institute for Water and Sanitation, National Office for Electricity and Potable Water (ONEE-IEA), included presentations on desalination in Morocco and Jordan.  READ MORE

Algeria: EU Delegation presents achievements of 'WATER II' programme 
The EU Delegation in Algeria has presented on its website the achievements in the domain of water and sanitation of the 'WATER II' programme (2011-2015), which benefited from EUR 30 million in aid from the EU. READ MORE

Algeria: promoting environmental information
On 24 February 2016 the EU delegation in Algiers announced “the establishment of a national environmental information system (EIS)”, by the National Observatory on the Environment and Sustainable Development (ONEDD). READ MORE

A thirst for water, a need for diplomacy
More nations are developing, climate change is accelerating – and that puts the world's water resources under stress. In response, a TWAS science diplomacy workshop explores potential answers. READ MORE

UAE: Masdar Institute and EnergyNest Agree to Further Intensify Research Activities at MISP's Thermal Energy Storage Pilot Facility
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and Norwegian company EnergyNest AS, today signed an agreement to further intensify research on the thermal energy storage (TES) pilot facility at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP). READ MORE

Saudi Arabia: is running out of water
Saudi Arabia has started taxing water for residents to try and address the soaring cost of debt as oil revenues decline. READ MORE

Saudi Arabia: An ocean observatory for the Red Sea
Studies conducted at the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center provide new insights into the physical and biological aspects of the Red Sea. The Marine Environmental Research Center established jointly by KAUST and Saudi Aramco is the first oceanic observatory capable of monitoring the Red Sea. READ MORE

 
InternationalNews
Hydropower Outlook 2016: Exploring the Water-Energy Nexus and Energy Storage
Against the rapidly evolving landscape of renewable energy, hydropower remains the world’s primary source of clean energy — providing over 80 percent of renewable energy capacity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).  READ MORE

Resolute Marine (Cabo Verde) wins SEFA grant from AfDB
Resolute Marine (Cabo Verde), a subsidiary of Resolute Marine Energy, Inc., has received a grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to develop and deploy a reverse-osmosis desalination plant powered solely by wave energy.  READ MORE

Scientists look to batteries to cut desalination costs
Researchers at the University of Illinois in the US are exploiting the technology used in rechargeable sodium ion batteries to develop what they claim could be a "new type of device to the desalination community". READ MORE

Cloud analysis from satellite data is an important contribution to climate research
Clouds affect both the weather and climate, and they play an important role in calculations of a changing climate. Despite obstructing the view, without clouds we would have it even hotter on earth, as they reduce the overall amount of incoming solar radiation. At SMHI, researchers are studying clouds based on satellite data. READ MORE

hControl Project: costs reduction in solar thermal technology
Power plants with solar thermal technology are continuously evolving towards the optimization and cost reduction. In this sense, one of the projects developed by Abengoa is the hControl project. READ MORE

Experts rally for water sustainability at UN World Water Assessment Programme
Following a general introduction on the pioneering role of the WWAP Programme within the UN System to assess, monitor and report on the status of freshwater resources worldwide for policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders, panel members discussed the central role of water resources in connecting all segments and sectors of society. READ MORE

NX Filtration to lead development of nanofiltration to make drinking water free of drug residues
Partners involved in the 24Water project are the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of University of Twente, Dutch water supply company Oasen and spin-off company Artecs. READ MORE

Exeter experts receive €700,000 grant to study future water, food and energy security
Researchers from the University of Exeter are leading a pioneering international research project to deliver new guidance for governments to safeguard long-term provision of crucial natural resources. READ MORE

Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Equipment Industry Europe Market Research Report 2016
The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Equipment market analysis is provided for the Europe markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status. READ MORE

The OMEGA system addresses global needs for Energy, Water and Food 
OMEGA, “Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae,” began as a NASA Advanced Life Support research project to grow algae for biofuels and evolved into an ecosystem of technologies that generate sustainable energy, turn wastewater into drinking water, and provide food without using land. READ MORE

Millions of microplastics released every day from wastewater treatment plants
Researchers found that wastewater treatment plants were a source of microplastics in 80 percent of the rivers, regardless of the size of the river or the size and type of wastewater treatment plant. Scientists are now working to establish how much plastic stays in the rivers and how much ends up in the oceans. READ MORE

COMSATS urges govt to take necessary measures for ‘Science Diplomacy’
COMSATS has urged the government and other relevant national institutions to take necessary measures in support of "Science Diplomacy" as it would pave the way for achieving the set goals in the field of science and technology. READ MORE

 
AWARDS & VACANCIES
 
MEDRC Water Research Fellowships: 2016 Program Announcement
Applications for the 2016 Fellowship Program will be accepted in April 2016 through the participating universities. READ MORE 

New Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt
Mohamed AbdelAaty replaced Mohamed Moghazi. READ MORE

Scholarships: The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education 
Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE are offering a limited number of scholarships for graduate study at UNESCO-IHE's Delft campus in the Netherlands. The application deadline is on the 15th of June, 2016. READ MORE

Nomination of TUM DeSal Challenge Teams 2016 
Announcement of TUM Bottle Challenge 2016. WATCH HERE

Three Omani students won awards at the Best Science Student Project contest organised by Brunel University in London
The contest, which was held as part of the Omani Open Day activities, saw as many as 17 projects in fray.  READ MORE

University of Twente hands out Innovation Voucher to SME’s
The University of Twente has opened the application for the next round of innovation vouchers. SME’s have until March 31, 2016 the time to submit their Voucher application. READ MORE

The International ReSource Award for resilience in water management is a prize acknowledging social entrepreneurial thinking and leadership in implementing the principles of sustainability in water management
It recognizes new approaches for resolving existing issues related to sustainable water management. READ MORE

Elected Members IWRA Executive Board 2016-2018
The officers elected are from 15 different countries, representing five continents and different disciplines. The 15th Executive Board of IWRA started their 3 year mandate on 1 January 2016. READ MORE

Middle East and North Africa Scholarship Programme (MSP)
AFED new nominations

Two senior associates of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) were appointed to the newly formed cabinet in the UAE. Founding Board Member Mohammed Al Bowardi was appointed Minister of State for Defence Affairs. READ MORE

PUBLICATIONS 

  • The English version of the final report of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris is now available on the UNFCCC website. READ MORE
  • A new study finds drought in Eastern Mediterranean worst of past 900 years. READ MORE
  • Drinking water and sanitation: progress in 73 countries in relation to socioeconomic indicators. READ MORE
  • Research report covers the Water Desalination Equipment Market share and Growth, 2015-2025. READ MORE
  • Shallow groundwater poses pollution problem for Africa. READ MORE
  • Water Governance in Cities: Building on a survey of 48 cities in OECD countries and emerging economies. READ MORE
  • Report: Stronger Links in the Water Sector are Needed: The report, “Highlights of the First Biennial Congress Optimizing Water Management in a Changing World”. READ MORE 
  • FAO Land and Water Discussion Paper 10: "Exploring the concept of water tenure". READ MORE
  • UNESCO-IHE and Tanzanian knowledge partners (University of Dar es Salaam, Nelson Mandela Africa Institute of Science and Technology, and Sokoine University) presented the results of a one-year assessment of the environmental water requirements of key reaches of the Kilombero River surrounding one of East Africa’s largest Ramsar sites. READ MORE
    On 25 April, UNESCO-IHE organizes the regional launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2016 (WWDR) in the Netherlands. READ MORE
  • Integration of climate variability and change into national ICZM strategies: Contribution to the updating of the integrated management plan for coastal zones of the Kerkennah archipelago. READ MORE
  • Potential Rainwater Harvesting: An Adaptation Measure for Urban Areas in Jordan. READ MORE 
  • Rivers network: an open resource for sharing knowledge about river basins and watersheds. "Combating HABs Threat to Desalination Plants in Oman: An Operational Model". READ MORE

CALL FOR PAPERS

  • Call for contribution from ECHN: for early career researchers. Abstract submission deadline: 31st of March, 2016. For more information, contact: echn.iah@gmail.com
  • The 3rd International Congress on Water, Waste and Energy Management (EWWM) to be held in Rome on the 18th till the 20th of July, 2016. Calls for abstracts submission till: 31st of March, 2016. READ MORE
  • IDA Water Reuse Conference 2016: Water Reuse and Recycling Turning Vision Into Reality Call for Papers Now Open! Submission Deadline: 31st of March, 2016. READ MORE
  • ICDMT 2016: 18th International Conference on Desalination and Membrane Technology will take place in Paris on the 24th till the 25th of October, 2016. Deadline for papers submission: April 24, 2016. READ MORE
  • International, inter- and multidisciplinary graduate student water conference Abstract Deadline:11th of April, 2016. READ MORE
  • The 7th International Conference on Water Resources and Environment Research (ICWRER2016): Kyoto Terrsa, Kyoto, Japan, from the 5th till the 9th of June, 2016. Extended abstract /Full paper submission till the 31st of March, 2016. READ MORE
  • The First International Conference on Sustainable Water Processing will held in Sitges, Spain on the 11th till the 14th of September, 2016, and is accepting abstracts
    until the 30th of April, 2016.
    READ MORE
Upcoming Events

TENDERS & PROPOSALS 

  • Call for Innovation Proposals 2016. The MAGHRENOV Project addresses Mediterranean innovative markets in the field of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE). 4th of April, 2016: Closing of the Call. READ MORE
  • Jordan calls for tenders for Red Sea-Dead Sea canal construction. Deadline for submission is by the 30th of March, 2016. READ MORE
  • Next H2020 on-going calls for proposals related to water. READ MORE
  • Stepping up EU research and innovation cooperation in the water area: 2016 Joint Call on "Sustainable management of water resources in agriculture, forestry and freshwater aquaculture sectors". Deadline for the first stage is on the 19th of April, 2016. READ MORE
  • European Union Joint Rural Development Programme: 2nd Call for Proposals for Scaling up Good Agricultural Practices in the Governorate of Matrouh. Deadline for application: 9th of May, 2016. READ MORE
  • The MIT Climate CoLab, an online crowdsourcing platform of over 50,000 members, seeks proposals on how to address climate change. Entries are due on the 23rd of May, 2016.  READ MORE
  • RELX: launches 2016 Environmental Challenge to advance access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries. READ MORE
  • Call for Proposals – Young Arab Women in Agricultural Science. Applications are accepted from the 15th of March to the 15th of June, 2016. READ MORE
TRAINING
  • Reverse Osmosis Level 2: Seawater Reverse Osmosis System Design. From the 18th till the 21sth of April, 2016. MEDRC Training Facility, Muscat, Oman. READ MORE
  • Reverse Osmosis Level 1: Seawater Reverse Osmosis Operation, Monitoring & Troubleshooting. From the 2nd till the 5th of May, 2016. Dubai, UAE. READ MORE
  • Desalination with Solar Energy: A 4 day intensive course. From the 10th till the 13th  of May, 2016. Almeria. READ MORE
  • An international course “Analysis and Design of Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Concepts, Methods and Applications to Mediterranean and Tropical systems” .From the 12th till the 16th of July, 2016. Montpellier, France. READ MORE
  • The Heriot-Watt University Water Academy have today announced that they have fully-funded scholarships for their MSc programme in Water and Environmental Mangement. READ MORE
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
  • Morocco Solar, Wind & Hydro Project, 4th-5th of April, 2016, Rabat, Morocco. READ MORE
  • Smart Blue City - 1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference 2016, 14th-16th of April, 2016, Limassol, CyprusREAD MORE
  • Expert Group Meeting on the Water-related Sustainable Development Goals, 12th-13th of April, 2016, Beirut, Lebanon. READ MORE
  • MEDRC Alumni events, 18th-19th of April, 2016, Gaza, Palestine.
  • The Global Water Summit 2016, 19th-20th of April, 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE. READ MORE
  • International Water Technology Conference, from the 21st-23rd of April, 2016, Sharm El- Sheikh, EgyptREAD MORE
  • International Conference "Cross-disciplinary approaches to the Hydraulic Landscapes of the Eastern Mediterranean", 1200-1900CE, 21st-23rd of April, 2016, Balamand, Lebanon. READ MORE
  • 3rd International Conference & Exhibition on "Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation" (SWSSC 2016), 23rd-25th of April, 2016, Cairo, Egypt. READ MORE
  • Oman Energy and Water Conference, 23rd-25th of May, 2016 in Muscat, Oman. READ MORE
  • Oman Waste and Environment Conference, 23rd-25th of May, 2016 in Muscat, Oman. READ MORE
  • Desalination for the Environment, Clean Water and Energy, 22nd-26th of May, 2016, Rome, Italy. READ MORE
  • WATER SUM conference “Water, Growth and Stability: Transboundary Water Cooperation for Sustainable Growth and Stability in MENA", April 26th-28th, 2016, at the Regional Environmental Center (REC) in Szentendre, Hungary. READ MORE
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