Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, The Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW), in collaboration with the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) are hosting a scientific conference on the use of treated wastewater in the Arab world: the current status and future prospective. The conference will be held in Meydan hotel-Nad Al Sheba in Dubai on January 14 to 16, 2014; announced Mr. Saif Mohammed Al-Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for Agricultural and Livestock Affairs at MOEW, during a press conference held at the headquarters of ICBA in Dubai on the 8th of January.
Al-Shara also said that MOEW is keen on preserving its water resources and encouraging the use of alternative water resources such as treated wastewater. Al Shara added that the aim of the conference is to review a summary of researches and experiments from various countries on the use of treated water in agricultural production in the Arab countries. The focus will be on crop production and field management. The discussions will also address the effect of the use of treated wastewater on the quality of plant and animal products and evaluate management practices, irrigation water management and soil.
In addition, the conference will review the environmental impacts at the farm level and the groundwater. The conference also aims to review the guidelines, regulations, policies and strategies for using the treated wastewater in the Arab countries, as well as the economic and social assessment and the advantages of using the treated wastewater in agricultural production.
Moreover, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, mentioned that participants in this conference will include officials, decision-makers, Arab ministers, deputy ministers, directors of agricultural research centers and experts from the United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco as well as international experts from the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the International Water Management Institute and the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry lands.
Elouafi indicated that ICBA started focusing on the use of marginal and non-traditional water resources in agricultural production since its establishment in 1999, where the strategy of the centre continued to focus on taking advantage of every drop of water and promote agriculture in marginal environments which are least productive, especially the new strategy for the period 2013 to 2023, in order to contribute to find alternative solutions to achieve food security and water security.