The MEDRC research program supports the scientific quest for solutions to fresh water scarcity in the MENA region. Our goal is to ensure MEDRC is a renowned catalyst for innovation in this field.

More efficient desalination, better water reuse and a shift to renewable technologies are urgently needed to enable us rise to the challenge of fresh water scarcity. Our research program is about bringing the best regional and global expertise together to help find solutions to that challenge. It is about developing the researchers of tomorrow – scientists from the region who will lead our efforts to secure safe, secure and sustainable water for the people of this region into the future.


MEDRC Water Research is a recognized regional center of excellence that boosts research on reverse osmosis (RO) membrane
technologies and renewable energies-based desalination and dealing with environmental impact concerns as well.

We aim specifically at conducting, facilitating, and promoting basic & applied research in the water desalination field.

MEDRC Water Research aims to become the regional hub for exchanging and transferring knowledge on the most innovative
and efficient technologies of desalination. Between and within the MENA countries, including MEDRC’s host country, Oman.


An annual MEDRC event, the Cutting Edge Technology Showcase, sets out to gather leaders from the global water community together to discuss water challenges and share innovative solutions. An exhibition is held alongside the conference to showcase the latest cutting edge technologies in water treatment and reuse.

The scale and format of the event allows for a focused agenda targeting relevant delegates and provides more powerful networking and valuable learning opportunities than many of its larger contemporaries held in the MENA region.

Running alongside the exhibition, panel discussions bring a variety of leading national and international experts together to offer a varied perspective and thought provoking analysis on a range of topics.

A complete proceedings book of last year’s event is available for download here.


The Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge is a joint initiative led by MEDRC Water Research and The Research Council Oman with funding provided by The Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science.

With a winning prize of 700,000 USD the Challenge Prize seeks to deliver a hand-held, stand-alone, low-cost, desalination device for short-term use and rapid deployment following a humanitarian crisis.

Access to clean fresh drinking water following a disaster is critical to health and survival. Current relief response measures often rely on transporting massive quantities of bottled water into the affected population or distributing water purification devices or tablets that don’t have the ability to rid water of salt. There is an urgent need for a desalination device that can be deployed quickly and affordably to people in need of drinking water in times of crises.

No such product exists on the marketplace today.

Teams/individuals interested in participating in the Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge, 2023 can register online now via the website

Deadline for registration is May 31, 2023


Applications should be forwarded in full to

Using Subject Line: Desalination Challenge Grant Application

Applications closed.


Humanitarian Desalination Challenge Pathway Research Grants Announced

In partnership with USAID, MEDRC has announced a second track of funding for the Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge.

The Humanitarian Desalination Challenge Pathway Research Grants aim to deliver an innovative family sized (120 liters of water per day) brackish desalination device as a precursor or earlier generation to the hand held device that the Challenge Prize looks for.

MEDRC will award up to three Pathway Research Grants up to a maximum of $150,000 each in 2021. The research calls will be announced monthly, and applications will be accepted at the end of each month until 2021 research funds are fully awarded.

Applications will be evaluated and awarded based on their ability to show how innovations can lead to meeting the Challenge Prize criteria. Down-scaling existing large-scale Reverse Osmosis and electroldialysis technologies will not considered innovative and so will not be funded.

The detailed announcement including all application requirements can be found on the following links:

Announcement 2021

Project Funding Agreement

MEDRC Final Report Template



MEDRC is coordinating a global research effort to develop capabilities for remote sensing, modeling and forecasting to provide critical information to desalination plants about the presence and predicted transport pathways of harmful algal blooms.

This has resulted in the production of the world’s first guidance manual on HABs (MEDRC and UNESCO IOC). The objective of the manual is to help the desalination industry combat the threat that HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) pose to human health and the operation of their plants. MEDRC’s work in the field of HAB’s continues with the focus moving to securing the delivery of an early warning system capable of predicting the occurrence of HAB’s and issuing alerts to Omani desalination plants.

Launched at the International Desalination Association World Congress in São Paulo Brazil on October 17th, 2017 the HABs manual is available online to download by clicking here.


MEDRC created the ‘Young Omani Water Researchers Award’ to reward excellence in water research and to help inspire and motivate young Omani academics to engage in and pursue water research studies.

Held under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and supported by the Oman Water Society, the award provides an important platform from which MEDRC can support researchers and continue to foster important collaborative relationships with academic institutions.

The inaugural award in 2020 saw Ibtihal Al Manthari win the postgraduate category for her research titled: ” Water-land and Energy use efficiencies of AC cooled greenhouses based on field experiments.”

Winner of the undergraduate category, Kawthaer Al Ismaili  was awarded for her research on Microwave assisted synthesis of CdS Sub- microspheres for the degradation of chlorophenols under solar light irradiation.

The wastewater research category saw Aziza Al Hinai and Halima Al Himali won for their investigation of the performance of microbial cells for petrochemical water treatment and energy recovery.

Applications are now open for the Omani Young Water Researchers Award, 2023.

Read the terms and conditions to make sure you are eligible before you fill out the online application form.

Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted with further details.

Please note applications are now closed.

MEDRC’s Eco School Prize

MEDRC Eco School Prize is an inter-school competition designed to build greater water and energy use awareness among school children in Oman.

The participating schools are evaluated on the impact of the activities that have taken place throughout the competition, including the implementation of conservation policy in their schools, improvements in water and energy consumption and awareness campaigns.

The prize also includes a best video category in which students compete to create an engaging short videos for social media distribution.


Our in-house research center has been built to offer a regional testing and training site for water treatment technologies and is open for collaborative projects with industry and academia and key water stakeholders. Current projects include research into brine disposal and solar powered brackish water desalination, conducted in partnership with the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and SQU, respectively.


Our research program recognizes the importance of international collaboration to the development of effective solutions to fresh water scarcity. MEDRC’s research networks and expert symposia are a critical element of our work in capacity building, and are employed to facilitate knowledge exchange, promoting best practice and exploring innovative and emerging advancements in water treatment technologies.


MEDRC has launched an Omani Desalination Research Network.

The network has a clear mandate to explore the possibilities for environmentally sustainable water desalination in Oman and the viability of its use. The network offers expert members a platform from which they can increase the visibility of their research, identify who is doing what, boost synergies and build collaborative works and joint projects. In addition, this hub will identify good practices for the improvement of desalination technologies in terms of energy cost and environmental impact reduction.


The Alumni Lecture Series offers MEDRC Alumni the opportunity to present their research outputs to a distinguished audience of water actors in Oman.

MEDRC recognizes and supports excellence in water research in universities in the MENA region and has long believed that investing in talented students will have a hugely beneficial impact on the regions ability to work towards a secure and sustainable supply of water for all. Alumni networking events and support programs help to foster the professional skills of MEDRC Fellows and encourage collaborative research efforts beyond their fellowship period.


The MENA Water Bulletin is MEDRC’s monthly E Bulletin distributed directly to the inbox of over 40,000 readers.