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Unlike other natural resources, water has great importance as indispensable for human survival, and a strategically vital resource and essential input for most of the various aspects in the development process for nations. In the GCC countries, which are situated in one of the driest region of the world, water management and its sustainable provision to these development activities has grown to be one of the most important and challenging tasks faced by the water authorities. This is due to the limited available natural water resources on one side, and the growing demands and competition from the consuming sectors resulting from unprecedented population and economic growth on the other.
Currently, the water challenge in the GCC countries is considered as one of the major and most critical challenges facing these countries, and is expected to grow with time. This is due to the scarcity and rapid depletion of freshwater resources, the heavy financial and economic burden to be borne in the provision of non-conventional water resources (represented mainly in desalination and reuse of treated wastewater), and due to the direct links between water and the accelerating socio-economic development efforts in these countries. Furthermore, the water challenge is compounded by its multiple nexuses with the various development components, such as water and human health, water and environment, water and food, water and energy, and many other interdependencies, which carry within them many cross-cutting issues of social, economic, legal, technical, and political nature.
1. Raising awareness to the importance of considering and dealing with the strong inter-sectoral linkages between water, energy, and agriculture, and identifying the major inter-relations, inter-dependencies, challenges, and opportunities of these resources today and in the future in the GCC countries.
2. Facilitating an open discussion platform to share knowledge and experiences between researchers, executives, decision and policy makers, and other stakeholders, on modern methodologies and techniques used in the planning and preparation of medium- and long-term national strategies for the sustainable management of water, energy, and food in the GCC countries, and other dry regions.
3. Formulating a research framework and strategy for the needed research in the field of identifying the role and value of energy in the various water sectors in the GCC countries.
4. Formulating a research framework and strategy for the needed research in the field of rational and efficient water use in the agricultural sector and maximizing its value added.
5. Building a network between individuals, institutes, NGOs in the GCC countries, the Arab countries, and other countries that are interested in scientific research in the water-energy-food nexus.
Case studies of planning and management of water and energy resources on the national and regional levels; GCC fresh water and energy demands forecasts; approaches to close the demand-supply gap for water and energy; role of energy, energy demands, and energy use efficiency in the various water sectors; policies, legislations, institutional roles and capacities, and financial and economic considerations required for the sustainable management of water and energy; expected impacts of climate change on the use of water and energy, carbon trade, tools and technologies for increasing the efficiency of energy use in the water sector.
2. Water security and food sustainability
Water security versus food security in arid regions; demand management and water conservation strategies in the agricultural sector in arid regions; modern agricultural technologies (biosaline, soilless …), modern irrigation techniques, and protected agricultural; the principle of virtual water and its role in agricultural policies and water resources management in the GCC countries.
3. Management of natural resources (groundwater and surface water)
Strategies for integrated management and sustainable planning of water resources (renewable and nonrenewable); water harvesting and artificial recharge; water protection and monitoring strategies; economical, legislative, and technological tools for managing demand.
4. Management of the municipal water sector
Demand management and conservation strategies in the municipal sector; management of non-revenue water; quantitative and qualitative management of water supply systems (Production, treatment, transmission, and distribution); role and efficient usage of energy in the municipal sector.
5. Desalination technologies
Current trends and recent and future developments in desalination technologies and alternative energy sources; design, operation, and management of desalination plants; Innovative desalination plants design and modeling; economics and financing of desalination; desalination and renewable energy sources
Arabic and English will be used in the conference. Research papers in both languages are accepted. In either case, an additional abstract in the other language must be submitted along with the full text of the research paper.
Abstracts should be sent to WSTA office in Bahrain by 31 October, 2011.
Authors will be notified of acceptance of abstract by 15 November, 2011, by fax or preferably by email address provided by authors.
The deadline for full text submission is 31 January, 2012.
Notification of final acceptance will be faxed or emailed to author’s by29 February, 2102.
Deadline for receiving the final text (camera ready) is 15 March, 2012.