30 Nov Message From The Center Director, CIARÁN Ó CUINN -Newsletter issue #7
MEDRC Water Research has tripled in size in only three years and 2016 was by far our busiest year since 1996 when the organization was established. Every day seems to have brought a visiting delegation, a training session, a workshop or new research project on the search for solutions to fresh water scarcity that unites this region.
The past while has seen the Center fill up with new RO plants, labs, solar stills, parabolic solar collectors, weather stations, solar farms and even our very own Omani Falaj system.
Right now, we have more than 90 water research projects underway. In Jordan and Palestine, 82 MEDRC Water Research Fellowships are supporting a new generation of extraordinary scientists that we honored to work with and assist.
In partnership with talented faculty and students from Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman we have embarked on a new project to promote more environmental friendly methods of desalination brine disposal for small-scale agricultural desalination plants. This has involved the construction of a series of evaporation ponds and new plans to produce a series of guidebooks, architectural-plans and research projects to promote their use in areas where brine is currently being sent into the water table.
Working with the German Federal Development Agency, GIZ, we contributed to the Arabterm project, developing a desalination dictionary that will provide desalination terminology in 4 languages: Arabic, English, French and Arabic and their definitions in English and Arabic as well as its illustrations.
2017 will see us complete our work to fully operationalize our HABS Early Warning System. Taking this model from the academic and theoretical stages already developed through to a practically useful tool for ministries and plant managers is an important priority for us.
A new partnership with BP, to be launched shortly, will see MEDRC Water Research undertake large-scale strategic training initiatives in desalination here in Oman.
Finally, we have recently concluded an agreement with the SIDA, the renowned Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, to support some of our transboundary water projects. Our approach is to seek to use the challenge of water scarcity pro-actively as a means of building international cooperation and we are proud to work with such a renowned partner in that respect.