From No or Little Water to Sustainable Solutions

Focusing on water solutions in arid & semiarid environments, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water gains a new platform with the First Arab Water Forum

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Focusing on water solutions in arid & semiarid environments, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water gains a new platform with the First Arab Water Forum

We have some new items to share with you in this issue of Water & Wastewater International. A new column called “Executive Watch”, which involves an interview with a prominent or up-and-coming company executive on issues of the day, features the new CEO of Siemens Water Technologies Charles Gordon, who replaced Germany’s Roger Radke as of Feb. 1 (see p. 11). Another new column, “Creative Finance”, showcases issues, challenges and successes in providing financing for water and wastewater infrastructure worldwide, with an emphasis on developing nations where matching funds may be in short supply. We start here with an overview by Global Water Intelligence newsletter editor Christopher Gasson on the state of public private partnerships (see p. 12).

“Because of the urgent need for water in arid regions like Saudi Arabia across the world, there has been a sense of urgency to contrive supportive methods to water researches adopted at world scale.”

Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh, PSIPW General Secretary

In this issue our “Regional Focus” centers on the Mid-East and North Africa. An interesting tidbit in a recent news item posted to our website from SUEZ Environnement highlighted the importance of the region to the water & wastewater industry’s bottom line. From 2005-15, SUEZ anticipates $7 billion will be invested to build wastewater treatment plants in the Middle East and Africa. Over the same time, nearly $14 billion dollars could be spent on desalination infrastructure in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea regions.

In other news, Tracey Nolan-Shaw, of ACE Event Management Ltd., asked me to mention the 3rd International Conference on Water Resources and the Arid Environment and the First Arab Water Forum scheduled for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 16-18 ( It’s under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz and is presented by the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water & Desert at King Saud University in conjunction with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, the Ministry of Water and Electricity, and The Arab Water Council.

The event is to be held concurrently with the awards ceremony for the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (Third Award 2006-08), for which judging will commence in March to pick winners from 198 nominations from 53 countries. Nearly 75 nominations were submitted for the new Creativity Prize, honoring original work deemed a breakthrough in any water-related field and worth 1 million Saudi riyals (US$266,000). Four other prizes worth 500,000 riyals (US$133,000) also will be presented covering surface water, groundwater, alternative water resources, and water resources management and protection.

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Prof. Howard Wheater, hydrology professor at Imperial College, London, receives a 2004-06 Prince Sultan Prize from Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz
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Winners of the second PSIPW awards (2004-06) were:

  • Groundwater – Topic: Management of Coastal Aquifers – 1) The Water Section, Research Institute, King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia, and 2) Prof. Abdelkader Larabi, Morocco.
  • Alternative Water Resources – Topic: Treatment and Reuse of Wastewater – Prof. Abdul Latif Ahmad, Malaysia.
  • Water Resources Management – Topic: Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management in Arid & Semiarid Regions – Prof. Howard S. Wheater, United Kingdom.
  • Protection of Water Resources – Topic: Groundwater Pollution by Urban Activities – King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

There was no winner for the surface water category in 2004-06. For details, see a related article at our website: “Prince Sultan Prize recognizes UK professor’s 25 years of hydrological efforts”.

Prize general secretary Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh noted that the awards originated as a humanitarian contribution by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world and as an initiative to address the growing problem of water resources worldwide, which is being exacerbated by global warming.

On a related subject, another article recently posted to our website was “Water Sustainability: A Looming Global Challenge”, by Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Black & Veatch’s Global Water Business. In it, McCarthy makes the case that, due to climate change, global water industry players need to focus on more sustainable water practices for them and their clients due to the fact “growing demand for Earth’s natural resources, like water, is creating an imbalance between the earth’s bio-capacity and its inhabitants’ desired standard of living.”

Lastly, we’d like to point out column headings in Table 2 that illustrated the article, “F.B. Leopold Provides DBP Solution in South Korea,” [WWI, December 2007/January 2008, p. 11] were incorrect. They should have read: “Parameter”, “w/o PAC”, “w PAC” and “Goal”. It’s been fixed in the online version of the article. Our apologies.

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Carlos David Mogollón,
Managing Editor

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