MEDRC Technical Workshop on Renewable Energy & Desalination in the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus

Aim to Boost Collaboration between Water, Energy, and Agriculture Sectors in the MENA region

A MEDRC expert workshop in Muscat called for greater cooperation between the water, energy and agriculture sectors to cut costs, energy consumption and environmental impacts.

The workshop, involving several world renowned scientists and practitioners, was entitled: “Renewable energy & desalination in the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in the MENA region.” and took place at MEDRC headquarters in Muscat (Sultanate of Oman).

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus is an important tool for Governments to appreciate the need for more coordination between the water, energy and food sectors. The linkages with renewable energies and desalination are a top priority for MEDRC.

The workshop started with an introduction by Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, MEDRC head of research, who introduced the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) concept and highlighted good examples from a recent GIZ (German agency for international development cooperation) study on the adoption of innovative solutions within the nexus in Oman, UAE, Qatar, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Three distinguished speakers made detailed presentations. Prof. Nicholas Hankins from the University of Oxford, Department of Chemical Engineering (UK), addressed the issue of “The Water Energy Food Nexus and Desalination in the MENA Region: How do We Ensure a Sustainable Water Supply?”; Mr. Arslan Khalid, from the International Renewable Energy Agency ‘IRENA’, addressed the issue of “Opportunities of renewable energies in the WEF Nexus”; and Prof. Hassan Arafat from Masdar Institute (UAE), highlighted a successful case study in UAE: “Reverse electrodialysis powered greenhouse concepts for water and energy self-sufficient agriculture.”

Participants appreciated the case studies presented and called for identifying more success stories related to the application of the WEF approach and more support to such case studies and know-how sharing.