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Eye of Riyadh
Environment & Energy | Thursday 17 January, 2019 1:19 am |

Masdar-led Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance and IOWater partner to improve global water security

The Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance (GCWDA) has entered into a partnership with the International Office for Water (IOWater), a France-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving global water resource management. 

The collaboration was signed during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019, which takes place on theme ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development.’ Water is one of the event’s six pillars with discussion on a range of water-related topics planned, including the role of technology in unlocking new sources of potable water.   

The new partnership between GCWDA and IOWater will explore solutions that encourage better stewardship of water resources and help mitigate climate change, while further promoting opportunities in clean energy water desalination.  

Dr Alexander Ritschel, Chair of the Board of GCWDA and Head of Technology, Asset Management and Technical Services at Masdar, and Dr Eric Tardieu, Director-General of IOWater, signed the agreement. 

“Masdar is proud to be a founding member of the GCWDA and committed to addressing the challenges of water sustainability. We hope to leverage the experience and technical skills of IOWater, and to build on the progress made in improving access to clean and safe water supplies in water-stressed communities around the world since the alliance was established at the UN Climate Summit in Paris in 2015,” said Bader Al Lamki, Executive Director, Clean Energy at Masdar. 

Under the terms of the agreement, a trust fund will be set up to support approved activities and projects. The fund will be overseen by both parties and managed by IOWater. It will also welcome contributions from organisations and people who wish to support the vision of the alliance to reduce the carbon footprint of water.

Dr Tardieu said: “IOWater is attentive to the growing importance of non-conventional water resources such as desalination; sound management of water resources necessitates innovative and clean approaches to sustainably integrate these solutions and to reconcile generalised access to clean water, economic development and mitigation measures for the water sector. This new partnership with GCWDA will help in promoting and disseminating this new ambition, and integrating clean water desalination in the water strategies of cities, basin organizations or countries.”

In January 2018, Masdar announced the results of its Renewable Energy Powered Desalination programme, which demonstrated the commercial viability of solar-powered desalination based on reverse osmosis. Five desalination pilot projects were commissioned as part of the programme in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi.

The GCWDA was launched at the UN Climate Summit (COP 21) in Paris in 2015. Organised under the Lima Paris Action Plan (LPAA), the GCWDA is dedicated to reducing global carbon dioxide emissions and improving water resource management in the desalination industry. 

The alliance focuses on four key areas: clean energy supply for desalination plants; energy efficiency, systems integration and demand response; research, development and demonstration; and education, training and outreach. 

The GCWDA currently has 176 members from 38 countries and 6 continents.

IOWater is a non-profit organisation involved in capacity building for better water management worldwide. The organisation’s expertise covers the entire water cycle, from the management of water and sanitation services to resource management, via training, technical assistance, data management activities, or the facilitation of global networks.   

ADSW 2019 takes place from 12-19 January 2019, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. One of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, the event has expanded its focus beyond energy to six key pillars: Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future of Mobility, Space Exploration, Biotechnology, Technology for Good. 

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