The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) has recently participated in the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Representing the University was Professor Waleed Khalil Zubari, Professor of Water Resources Management and Coordinator of the Water Resources Management Program at the College of Graduate Studies (CGS), who was a keynote speaker in a session organised by the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
During the session titled “Water Security in the GCC Countries: The Interdependence of Water, Food and Energy Security in the GCC”, Prof. Zubari discussed the concept of water security in the GCC countries and its dimensions. He highlighted the challenges faced by the Cooperation Council countries, such as the depletion of groundwater, the economic and environmental costs of desalination for drinking water and the lack of use of treated wastewater in conditions of water scarcity.
Prof. Zubari recommended focusing on demand management, efficiency, investing in desalination and treatment technologies, improving water governance, and building GCC capabilities in the field of integrated water planning.
Speaking in a different session titled “The Role of Non-conventional Water Resources in Adapting to Climate Change in the GCC Countries”, which was organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the GCC, Prof. Zubari spoke about the importance of non-conventional water resources, such as desalinated water and treated wastewater, to combat climate change and water scarcity. He underscored the need for a comprehensive perspective on the sustainability of managing these water resources, including settling them in the region, increasing their economic value, reducing environmental impacts and optimising their use through efficiency, recycling and reuse.
Additionally, AGU will organise a session in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the GCC on December 11, titled “Priorities of Scientific Research on Climate Change in the GCC Countries”, which will be moderated by Prof. Zubari.