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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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A two day event to support research and innovation in the Palestinian water sector was held recently in Gaza, as part of a week highlighting scientific research in Palestine. The events were co-hosted by the Palestinian Water Authority, the Islamic University of Gaza, Al-Azhar University and MEDRC.  Annually MEDRC hosts many events in cooperation with current students and alumni of the MEDRC Water Research Fellowship Program. This event was attended by over 100 alumni, current MEDRC fellows and supervisors.

12 alumni of the MEDRC Water Research Fellowship presented their research in the fields of water management, reuse and desalination. Since 2012, over 120 MEDRC Fellows have been supported in their research related to water resources management, on topics ranging from solar systems using parabolic mirrors for water desalination unit; reform of the legal framework in the water sector; and the effect of water borne diseases due to Climate Change in Gaza. READ MORE
LocalNews
Twente University delegation visit to MEDRC HQs in Muscat
Professor Hans Hilgenkamp, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology and Prof. Rob Lammertink, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology visited MEDRC HQ on the 4th of April to discuss collaboration opportunities. The discussions tackled issues such as: how to stimulate scientific collaboration between both entities in research (desalination, membranes, etc), training courses and student mobility from the Middle East region to UT through MSc and PhD scholarships supported by one or both parties or short visit studies or joint research projects (co-supervising, etc.), but also from UT to the Middle East region through internships of 3 months for instance or short study visits. READ MORE

Sacyr is in Oman with a Desalination Plant for more than 1,200 million dollars
Sacyr, through its subsidiary for management of the integral water cycle, Valoriza Agua, has entered Oman with the award of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a desalination of seawater in Sohar, at the Batinah coast for the amount of more than 1,200 million dollars.
 READ MORE

Oman takes cautious step on water tariffs
Oman has followed its GCC neighbors by raising water tariffs in a bid to tackle high levels of consumption and the level of subsidy currently required by utilities. Governmental, commercial and industrial users will now pay a single slab tariff of OMR0.0035 per gallon ($2.00/m3) for water, nearly 17% up on the previous figure, although the authorities have been keen to stress that the tariff rises will not affect residential water users. READ MORE

Oman: OPWP signed independent water plant agreements for establishing of Sohar desal plant
Oman Power and Water Procurement Co. (OPWP) signed recently the agreements of the establishment of an independent plant for water desalination at Sohar, with a consortium of Valoriza Agua- Spain, Oman Brunei Investment Co, and Sogex Oman Co., (under the flagship of Myah Gulf Oman Desalination Company).
 READ MORE

Oman: Workshop discussed setting up facility for wastewater management
A two-day workshop on establishing a pilot wastewater project took place in Muscat. Titled, 'Establishment of a Research, Demonstration and Training Facility for Decentralised Wastewater and Sludge Management in Oman', the workshop is funded by The Research Council (TRC) and is a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Technology Integration (IATI) and Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). READ MORE

Oman: Smart cities concept can improve efficiency
Smart technologies can help reduce waste of electricity and water. We are wasting energy because every room has an air condition while not all rooms are occupied. Since water in Oman is desalinated and there is no electronic monitoring with electronic meters, when the water leaks, it just flows away and is wasted. READ MORE
RegionalNews
Expert Group Meeting on the Water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 and includes seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to guide global action on the achievement of a common set of development objectives for the coming fifteen years. READ MORE

Government of Japan, Palestinian Water Authority and UNDP celebrate the closing of the cross boundary wastewater management project in the West Bank
Under the auspices of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah, the Government of Japan, in partnership with the Palestinian Water Authority and the United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People celebrated the closure of the USD 5.8 million cross boundary wastewater management project in the occupied Palestinian territory. READ MORE

Saudi Arabia: Al Khafji Solar Saline Water Reverse Osmosis (Solar SWRO) Desalination Plant
The Al Khafji desalination plant to be built in Al Khafji City will be the world's first large-scale solar-powered desalination plant. It will be located in Al Khafji to the north-eastern part of Saudi Arabia near the Kuwait border. READ MORE


Bahrain: Third WSTA Board meeting held in Manama on Friday, 25th March 2016
WSTA Board of Directors held its 3rd meeting in Manama yesterday 25 March 2016 with 9 members present. The meeting discussed various subjects related to current and future activities. READ MORE

Turkey: Women, Water and Peace Conference, March 2016
On 18-19 March 2016, Strategic Foresight Group and MEF University, with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) co-hosted a conference on Women, Water and Peace in the Middle East. The conference took place in Istanbul and brought together 50 decision makers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. READ MORE

Jordan: 'Two new Tafileh wind plants to be ready by 2019'
Two wind power plants with a total capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) will be ready and connected to the grid by 2019, according to one of the companies involved in the project. READ MORE

Iraq: Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people 
Iraqi engineers involved in building the Mosul dam 30 years ago have warned that the risk of its imminent collapse and the consequent death toll could be even worse than reported. READ MORE

Morocco: Could Harvesting Fog Help Solve the World’s Water Crisis?
“Water is real hardship. But water is also gold.” GREAT water story in the New Yorker about fog-harvesting in the Moroccan Sahara. READ MORE

Tunisia: Starting of water desalination project in Ben Guerdane 
Two wells will be realized in Ben Guerdane at the end of April 2016, a total of 8 wells planned in the water desalination project in the region, said recently the Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, water resources and fishing Saad Seddik. READ MORE

Mediterranean: Water resources growing scarcer 
The water situation in the Mediterranean Sea could become worrying because the resource is becoming more and rarer, according to a study published by the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on Know-how in the Water Sector (EMWIS). READ MORE

Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service (SWOS) project user workshop
SWOS will provide Earth Observation data and indicators to explore the conditions of wetland ecosystems and detect on-going changes.  READ MORE

The compulsion of water cooperation
Since last September, when the United Nations declared water as a sustainable development goal, a number of countries have intensified efforts to promote water cooperation with their neighboring countries. READ MORE

Iran: FAO urges joint cooperation on water scarcity in Iran
FAO representative to Iran says the organization advocates collective partnership in combating water scarcity in Iran. According to the FAO’s observation an alarming trend perceived over the last decades shows that the NENA Region is experiencing more frequent, intense and long droughts. READ MORE

Desalination – A Better Choice for MENA
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is considered as one of the most water-scarce regions of the world. Large scale water management problems are already apparent in the region. While the MENA region’s population is growing steadily, per capita water availability is expected to fall by more than 40-50% by the year 2050. READ MORE

Key Mediterranean energy stakeholders come together to boost renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures across the region
On 13 April 2016 Mediterranean Energy Regulators (MEDREG) together with the  Mediterranean Association of the National Agencies for Energy Conservation (MEDENER), the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME) and the Renewable Energy Solutions for the Mediterranean (RES4MED) brainstormed in Madrid, on how technical stakeholders, particularly regulators, could contribute to the advancement of renewable energy sources (RES) integration in the grids and on energy efficiency (EE) measures adopted in the Mediterranean basin. READ MORE


 
InternationalNews
2nd World High-Level Panel "Water and Peace"
The 2nd World High-level panel "Water and Peace" took place on 5-7 April 2016, in Dakar (Senegal). The purpose of the meeting was to advance the development of concrete proposals to prevent and resolve water-related tensions internationally. The event was opened by the Senegalese President H.E. Macky Sall, and provided multiple opportunities for exchanges between panelists and regional actors. An audience of about 300 people attended at the opening ceremony on 5 April at the King Fahd Palace in Dakar, including representatives of the diplomatic corps and MEDRC Center Director, Ciarán Ó Cuinn. READ MORE

Helping farms produce more crops with less water
Sustainable water management on farms is vital to maximize food production. Is it possible - in agriculture - to produce more with less water? That's the aim of a European research project taking place in Bologna, Italy. READ MORE

Saving water from waste in chemical plants
Producing chemicals and plastics indeed requires a lot of fresh water to cool down industrial processes, and this water is not always handy. Take a look on how new technologies can help recycle the water used in chemical plants to make these more environmentally friendly. READ MORE

A global approach to effective mercury reduction strategies
EU-funded scientists are pioneering the development of a coordinated, global mercury observation system. It will help policy makers and researchers from around the world to monitor the presence of mercury in ecosystems and food chains and assess the effectiveness of emission reduction measures. READ MORE

NASA and Japan make ASTER imagery available for free
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of the instruments on NASA’s Terra satellite. Although it is a NASA satellite, the instrument belongs to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). As of April 1, 2016, all Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data products are available at no charge from the LP DAAC. READ MORE

Renewable energy breaks growth record in 2015
"Renewable energy deployment continues to surge in markets around the globe, even in an era of low oil and gas prices. Falling costs and a host of other drivers are favoring renewables over conventional power sources." READ MORE

Syrian entrepreneur invents capsule to replace water chlorination
Syrian entrepreneur Louay Otba believes he has found a solution for water contamination, with an invention of a chlorine-free water disinfecting tablet. The tablets, which he’d dubbed OlifeTM, are designed to replace the traditional technique of chlorinating drinking and swimming pool water because of the health hazards associated with chlorine. READ MORE

Watt's new in wastewater treatment?
Google Dr Lindsey Gove, and one of the references that surfaces is to the 20th European Biosolids Conference, held last year in Manchester. Peruse the program of now past sessions; one of the most intriguing is Future Markets For Sludge. READ MORE

New standard in forecasting membrane fouling potential  
In November 2015, ASTM approved the Modified Fouling Index (MFI-0.45) as a new standard test method (ASTM D8002-15). This is a good step forward as prediction of the fouling tendency based on MFI is more accurate. The MFI-Forecaster of Akvoregia, a portable instrument, can easily measure the ASTM standardized MFI-0.45. READ MORE

Outcomes of the WaterWorks 2014 call: 16 Projects Recommended for Funding
The aim of the WaterWorks2014 Cofunded Call is to enable transnational, collaborative research, development and innovation projects addressing questions relating to the water challenges faced by European society. READ MORE
AWARDS & VACANCIES

PhD vacancies at the University of Twente, The Netherlands
The water management group at the University of Twente is looking for two enthusiastic PhD students to strengthen their water footprint research team. One of the students will work on the relation water-food and the other on water-energy. Application deadline: 15th May, 2016. READ MORE

Postdoc vacancy at the University of Twente, The Netherlands
The water management group at the University of Twente is also looking for a postdoc to strengthen its water footprint research team. The research will include work on water productivity of crop production for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Application deadline: 15th May, 2016. READ MORE

Joan Rose, water quality champion, wins 2016 Stockholm Water Prize
Professor Joan Rose, from Michigan State University, USA, this year's Stockholm Water Prize Laureate! Professor Rose has been awarded the Prize for her tireless contributions to global public health; by assessing risks to human health in water and creating guidelines and tools for decision-makers and communities to improve global well-being. READ MORE

Energy Water Nexus 2016
Entries, due by May 23rd, 2016, can win prizes -- including a $10,000 Grand Prize and a chance to present at MIT -- and also feed into larger national and global climate action plans, which the community will build on the platform later this year. READ MORE

WssTP Water Innovation SME Awards 2016 Now Open for Entries
WssTP is excited to launch the third edition of WssTP Water Innovation SME Awards! Building up on the success of its two previous editions in 2014 and 2015, WssTP renews its commitment to the SMEs and invites them to submit their innovative breakthrough solutions or technologies for the 3rd Water Innovation SME Awards. READ MORE

Rotary Scholarships for Water and Sanitation Professionals
Students eligible for this scholarship must be provisionally admitted to one of the following degree programs at UNESCO-IHE (joint programs are not eligible): MSc in Urban Water and Sanitation; MSc in Water Management; MSc in Water Science and Engineering. READ MORE

New Oman Water Society board elected
Eng. Zaher Al Sulaimani was elected for a new mandate as President of the Oman Water Society during the elections that took place in Sultan Qaboos University last March 31st. READ MORE

CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network Communications support 
Application deadline: 30th of April, 2016. READ MORE

Finalists announced for Institute of Water Innovation Award
Seven finalists have been announced for the Institute of Water National Innovation Award, which recognises innovative individuals and companies from within the UK water and sewerage sector. READ MORE

Global Water Partnership has announced a new Chair of the GWP Technical Committee, Dr Jerome Delli Priscoli.
The appointment is effective since 4th of April 2016. READ MORE

ICBA-CRDF Global launch grant competition for Arab women scientists
The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) launched of a joint research grant competition in partnership with CRDF Global for young Arab women scientists collaborating with US researchers in agricultural science. READ MORE

SuPER-W European Joint Doctorate
SuPER-W is a "European Joint Doctorate" programme for highly motivated young scientists, combining state-of-the-art research with a comprehensive joint training programme on Resource, Product and Energy Recovery from Wastewater with a strong collaboration between academic and private partners. READ MORE

PUBLICATIONS 

  • Women water experts are still in a minority and yet their perspective and participation is essential in policy and decision making, education and capacity development. READ MORE
  • Earth Observation for Water Resources Management : Current Use and Future Opportunities for the Water Sector. READ MORE
  • What does the Paris climate agreement mean for water policy? READ MORE
  • Water and Jobs – UN World Water Development Report 2016. READ MORE
  • Morocco: IRES advanced shortcomings of sectoral policies on adaptation to climate change. READ MORE
  • Water Integrity Global Outlook 2016: On World Water Day, WIN launched its flagship publication for the year: the Water Integrity Global Outlook 2016: clean water needs clean governance. READ MORE
  • Grand Challenge for the Future of Freshwater Ecosystems. READ MORE
  • Non-Conventional Water Resources in the Mediterranean. READ MORE

CALL FOR PAPERS

  • The “Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in the Arab Region”, Cairo, Egypt, 28th of February till the 2nd of March 2017. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 20th of June, 2016. READ MORE
  • Call for papers for an international workshop and consideration for publication in a special issue “Policies and Governance to enhance urban water resilience: Impacts of droughts and floods”. Interested authors are encouraged to submit extended abstracts (2-3 pages) to Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy, LKYSPP, e-mail: cecilia.tortajada@gmail.com, by the 2nd of May, 2016, at the latest. 
  • The International Water Resources Association (IWRA): is pleased to share with you the official launch of the Call for Abstracts for the XVI IWRA World Water Congress planned to take place in Cancun, Mexico, from the 29th of May till the 2nd of June next year. READ MORE
  • The Frank Guarini Center, School of Law, New York University and the Centre for Enterprise Liability (CEVIA), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen welcome proposals for papers/presentations at the International Conference on Maritime Actors and Climate Change, which will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 20th and 21st  of June, 2016. READ MORE
  • Call for Papers for Gulf Water Conference 2017 (28-30/03/2017): Last day to receive Abstracts 30th of June, 2016. READ MORE
  • VII International Scientific Agriculture Symposium "Agrosym 2016": Agrosym 2016 to be held in Jahorina, 6th till the 9th of October, 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina is calling for registration and abstracts submission, to be due by the 30th of April, 2016. READ MORE
Upcoming Events

TENDERS & PROPOSALS 

  • The 2nd joint transnational research call of ERANETMED co-funded by the following Euro-Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey. Deadline for submission of proposals: 31 May 2016. READ MORE
  • LIFE call 2016: Next LIFE call will be launched second half of May. READ MORE
  • Call for proposals for Study of Socio-Economic Impacts of Solar Pumping Systems in Terms of Local Job and Value Creation in Egypt. READ MORE
  • Morocco: EBRD finances work for distribution of drinking water: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced its intention to begin the realisation of works for the installation of a drinking water main under pressure in the centre of Massa and Belfaa in Morocco. It is highly recommended for perspective tenderers to attend the site visit. Closing date: 2nd of June, 2016 at 09:00 (local time). READ MORE
TRAINING
  • Reverse Osmosis Level 1: Seawater Reverse Osmosis Operation, Monitoring & Troubleshooting. From the 2nd till the 5th of May, 2016. Dubai, UAE. READ MORE
  • Reverse Osmosis Level 1: Seawater Reverse Osmosis Operation, Monitoring & Troubleshooting, Hands On. From the 9th till the 12th of May, 2016. MEDRC Training Facility, Muscat Oman. READ MORE
  • Reverse Osmosis Level 2: Process Analysis Laboratory Course, Hands On. From the 25th till the 26th of May, 2016. MEDRC Training Facility, Muscat Oman. READ MORE 
  • Desalination with Solar Energy: A 4 day intensive course. From the 10th till the 13th  of May, 2016. Almeria. READ MORE
  •  Announcement of our NEREUS COST Action ES1403 Training School, hosted by CSIC in Barcelona, 13th till the 15th of June, 2016. READ MORE
  • Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation Summer School that will be held in Sardinia (Italy) in June 2016. Application submission deadline is the 20th of May, 2016. READ MORE
     
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in the Economic Development Sector Using Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Tools, UN ESCWA, 25th-27th of May, 2016 in Amman, Jordan. READ MORE
  • Water-DROP Final Conference,30th of May-1st of June, 2016 in Paphos, Cyprus. READ MORE
  • The Third Symposium on Analytical Chemistry for Sustainable Development - ACSD 2016 and the 35th meeting of Union of Arab Chemists,11th-12th of May, 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. READ MORE
  • Desalination for the Environment, Clean Water and Energy: 22nd-25th of May, 2016 in Rome, Italy. 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
  • The 3rd Arab Forum for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and its Exhibition, Intercontinental City Stars, from June 1st-2nd, 2016, Cairo, Egypt. READ MORE
  • 13th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies will take place on June 13th-16th, 2016, in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. READ MORE
  • African Forum of Renewable Energy, July 13th-15th 2016, Tangiers, Morocco. READ MORE
  • 2nd annual international conference and exhibition - Solar | wind | biomass | geothermal: July 25th-26th 2016, Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, Cairo, EgyptREAD MORE
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