Session to explore desalination, water reuse

The Expo Zaragoza 2008 is being held this summer, June 14 to September 14, 2008, and is dedicated to "water and sustainable development." Under an agreement with the Government of Spain, the World Bank Institute (WBI) organizes the Virtual Pavilion, a series of fifteen Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) sessions aimed at extending the knowledge-sharing reach of the Expo...

• Expo Zaragoza 2008 - World Bank Institute Virtual Pavilion
September 9, 2008 - 8:30am-11:30am (Zaragoza time)

ZARAGOZA, Spain, Sept. 3, 2008 -- The Expo Zaragoza 2008 is being held this summer, June 14 to September 14, 2008, and is dedicated to "water and sustainable development." Under an agreement with the Government of Spain, the World Bank Institute (WBI) organizes the Virtual Pavilion, a series of fifteen Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) sessions aimed at extending the knowledge-sharing reach of the Expo.

To that effect, a GDLN session will be held on September 9, 2008, from 8h30 to 11h30 local time on the topic of "Desalination and Water Reuse." Broadcast live from Zaragoza with a panel of international experts, the session will allow the remote participation of attendees in Morocco, Palestine, UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, India (participating sites to be confirmed).

Escalating water demands associated with economic and demographic growth, urbanization and irrigation are increasingly stretching finite freshwater resources in many parts of the world. Climate change forecasts further add strain and uncertainty to water balances. As a result, communities need sustainable water strategies integrating conservation and protection of available resources, increased efficiency of uses, and development of new resources.

In such context, desalination and water reuse are emerging as economically and environmentally sustainable options for many urban areas worldwide. Desalination offers a limitless source of high quality water in coastal areas, which, although energy-intensive, is more and more attractive due to gradual reduction of unit costs. Water reuse on the other hand can augment water resources for non-potable or indirect potable uses, while also affording environmental protection and deferring freshwater development costs.

Given fast evolving technology design and costs, highly site-specific feasibility factors, and operational conversion unknowns, the initiation of desalination or reuse programs can however be a moving target.

This session is intended to share knowledge with water professionals and decision makers in Zaragoza and across GDLN locations, on the evolving feasibility frontiers of desalination and reuse, and on the place of such alternative resources in sustainable water management strategies. Typical questions to be answered in this session include:
• What are the current implementation issues and costs of desalination?
• Where is the market in terms of technical and financing solutions for effective desalination project delivery?
• When is water reuse justified, and what are the ingredients of successful reuse strategies?
• Can technical and contractual innovation make water reuse projects more competitive?

Four international experts will share recent experiences in wastewater reuse, including from Spain. Facilitated input from remote audiences will convey questions and experiences for expert panel feedback. The session will be co-moderated by World Bank experts Pier Francesco Mantovani and Khairy Al Jamal. Key messages from the session will be identified for further drafting and inclusion in the Zaragoza Charter.

For more information about this session, please contact Pier Mantovani at pmantovani@worldbank.org.

Parties interested in remote participation via GDLN link should contact Thomas Pitaud at tpitaud@worldbank.org.

>>Further information of Global Development Learning Network access
>>Further information on GDLN sessions
>>Further information on Zaragoza Expo

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