2022 Alumni Forum in Jordan: Water Security for Sustainable Development

The annual MEDRC Alumni Forum took place in Jordan on 12 June, with this year’s theme being Water Security for Sustainable Development.

The Forum was opened with a welcome message by MEDRC Center Director Ciarán Ó Cuinn and a speech from H.E. Dr. Jihad Mahamid, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, who spoke about the importance of engaging a new generation of entrepreneurs and future scientists in the sustainable development of the water sector, in order to build a water secure future.

The program consisted of 3 panels with subthemes focusing on Youth Engagement in the Water Sector, Integrated Solutions for Water and Wastewater Issues, and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Among the panelists were members of the Royal Scientific Society, representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Jordan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, as well as NGO’s and research institutes such as cewas, IWMI and the Global Green Growth Institute.

The Nexus session in particular was characterized by a lively debate about the need for lower water tariffs for farmers using water saving technologies, as well as the benefits of targeted subsidies to encourage sustainable farming practices. Discussions between panelists and members of the audience were encouraged by moderator H.E. Dr.Dureid Mahasneh, Chairman of environmental NGO Edama. Other topics that sparked discussion were the issue of invisible water, and to what extent the export of fruit and vegetables contributes to the unsustainable use of water resources -and how this impacts food security in the country.

The event concluded with presentations from MEDRC students and alumni. Dr. Banan Hudaib from Balqa Applied University spoke about her work on the fabrication of an antifouling, high flux membrane with the use of nanomaterials, for the removal of crude oil from industrial wastewater. Nehal Al-Mohtaseb from the University of Jordan presented on the adsorption of chromium Cr (VI) with biochar prepared from empty pine fruit shells. Eng. Sara Alassaf (Jordan University of Science & Technology), who also chaired the Forum, talked about her research project on the estimation and potential use of geothermal energy in deep aquifers in Jordan. The event was held at the Movenpick hotel in Amman, with an online audience attending via Zoom.


MEDRC Water Research Alumni Forums in Jordan and Palestine

The annual Alumni Forums are student-led, student focused events organized by Student Steering Committees in Jordan and Palestine, consisting of researchers and alumni from MEDRC’s Water Research Fellowship program. The Forums aim to bring together MEDRC Fellows and industry experts in the field of water, agriculture and environment to discuss important local, regional, and global water challenges in a collaborative environment, while highlighting some of the exceptional water research being conducted in the two countries. The Alumni Forum in Palestine is scheduled in the 3rd week of July.