2023 MEDRC Water Research Alumni Forum in Palestine

Two of our Development Cooperation team members travelled to Palestine to join the annual MEDRC Water Research Alumni Forum in Palestine with events held in both the West Bank and Gaza. The annual Water Research Alumni Forums provides a platform for MEDRC Fellows, researchers and academics, public and private water sector representatives, and industry experts to convene to discuss and exchange knowledge on important local, regional, and global water challenges and solutions while highlighting some of the exceptional water research conducted by MEDRC Fellows and our partner universities.

The 5th MEDRC Palestinian Water Research Alumni Forum in the West Bank (14 February, Ramallah) focused on Accelerating Change via Water Innovation Solutions and included sub-themes on Governance and Water Diplomacy, and Nonconventional Water Resources. The event was opened by H.E. Eng. Mazen Ghuneim Head of Palestinian Water Authority, representatives from MEDRC and partner universities. The event featured presentations on water diplomacy for water security, prediction of water pipe breakage using data mining tools, efficiency of irrigation systems in soilless conditions, and photo catalytic degradation of organic pollutants form secondary reclaimed water with simulated solar light.

The Alumni Forum in Gaza (16 February), focused on Sustainable Development of Water and Environmental Resources and provided space for participants to share their research and discuss how environmental resources and water in particular can be used in a way that meets both current and future socio-economic demand. The forum comprised of four sessions: 1) Water governance and integrated water resources management; 2) Climate change mitigation and adaption strategies to improve water efficiency; 3) Environmental and social aspects to promote sustainability; 4) Public health and water safety. In addition to the presentations and panel discussions, the Gaza forum also included an exhibition of water innovation projects – showcasing a variety of inspirational research projects, and innovative products from researchers and start-ups across Gaza.

The annual Alumni Forums are student-led, student focused events organized by elected Student Steering Committees consisting of researchers and alumni from MEDRC’s Water Research Fellowship program. MEDRC Water Research Fellows Mr Ali Abdou and Ms Esraa Shublaq chaired the Student Steering Committees in the West Bank and Gaza respectively. Thank you, and congratulations to all involved in the events.

Many thanks to the PWA and partner universities in Palestine for their support in this year’s Palestinian Alumni Forums and for their ongoing support of the MEDRC Water Research Fellowships Program.