The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) of the UAE signed today a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen technical and training cooperation.
Signed by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, and Mr. Mohammed Mohammed Saleh, Director General of FEWA, during a ceremony held at FEWA in Dubai, the MoU aims to provide training and technical assistance for FEWA technical staff, and to farmers on reusing treated wastewater and brine water.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi said: “Water security is a major challenge in marginal environments such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As part of our efforts to address water scarcity issues of the MENA region, we are exploring innovative solutions and technologies for safe reuse of wastewater and brine water in agriculture to ensure future food and water security in marginal environments. With this new collaboration with FEWA, we hope to see farmers make efficient use of treated wastewater for better agricultural production.”
For his part, Mr. Mohammed Mohammed Saleh said: “We are optimistic of collaboration as a result of this memorandum. We are confident that this collaboration will contribute to safe use of treated wastewater for agricultural production and help to save potable water in the UAE.”
He further said: “The collaboration includes the design and construction of an integrated system and the distribution of treated water and the establishment of a number of reservoirs, pumping stations. The completion of the project implementation is expected to be done within 90 weeks.”
Mr. Mohammed Mohammed Saleh stressed that the FEWA and the Center will seek within the framework of this memorandum to create a research center in a typical zone to conduct agricultural research and provide advice and support to farmers in the areas of Fujairah.
The collaboration also includes the campaigning to build awareness among farmers about the importance of using treated wastewater.
Under this memorandum, ICBA and FEWA will work together on advancing technology transfer in the areas of safe reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture, reuse of brine water and other areas of agricultural development through collaborative technical assistance and capacity building, while addressing challenges of national, regional and global significance.
Through the deployment of world-class facilities and staff at ICBA, research and development in the areas of environmental sustainability and treated wastewater reuse in agriculture can be further explored at national and regional levels.