Arab countries will need to invest at least $200 billion into water-related infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, according to UN World Water Development Report released ahead of a major industry event in Abu Dhabi.
The International Water Summit (IWS) 2018 will run from January 15 to 18 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea).
It is being held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
There will be a special focus on breakthrough smart technologies that are being developed around the world to address pressing water challenges in arid regions.
Hosted by Masdar, the event is aimed at promoting water sustainability in the Middle East, said the organisers.
For the first-time ever, IWS 2018 will host the Smart Water Expo, a platform to demonstrate how digitalisation and automation can be leveraged for resource-efficient, flexible and competitive water management.
The inaugural expo will feature experts discussing an ecosystem underpinned by big data analytics, automation and the Internet of Things, which will revolutionize the way water infrastructure is managed in the Gulf region.
At IWS 2017, Adwea launched its Demand Side Management (DSM) programme “Tarsheed”, which is aimed at helping and encouraging its customers to use water and electricity more efficiently in line with the directives of the UAE’s visionary leadership for the protection of the environment for the benefit of future generations.
Abdulla Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi, the chairman of the board of directors at Adwea, said: “As the world begins to face numerous challenges around the future of water, advancements in technology means we are now strongly placed to truly transform how people access water."
"In line with our Demand Side Management (DSM) programme ‘Tarsheed’, at IWS 2018 we will showcase solutions for residential and public water use, industrial water use, smart metering and networks, data-driven technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), and cyber security. Through our participation we are keen to discover new partners and solutions with whom we can collaborate to create Smart Water solutions for our future," he added.
Dr Saif Saleh Asseiari, the acting director general, said: "Adwea is dedicated to enhancing cooperation with all strategic partners, and our participation in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week aims to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s global standing in the fields of innovation, efficiency and sustainable investment, in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030."
Naji El Haddad, the group event director at Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of the summit, said: "IWS 2018 will bring together policymakers, business leaders and innovators from over 100 countries to demonstrate and discover today’s most innovative solutions for water related challenges of our future."
"Through the Smart Water Expo and Innovate@IWS, the 2018 edition of the event will act as a vehicle for disruptive technologies, showcasing innovations which will enable positive impact and long-term benefits for the water industry," stated El Haddad.