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On behalf of HH The Prime Minister.. Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdulla inaugurates the 12 Gulf Water Conference and Exhibition

March 31, 2017

Under the Theme “Water in the GCC Countries towards Integrated Strategies” HE Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Water Resources inaugurated the 12th Gulf Water Conference and Exhibition on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister. The conference will be held from the 28th to the 30th of March at the Crowne Plaza Conference Center. The 12th Gulf Water Conference serves as a forum for open scientific discussion and exchange of views and experiences among researchers, executives, policy makers, decision makers and the private sector on integrated strategies and legislative, economic and environmental considerations at the time of their formulation.

On this occasion, His Excellency Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister for his invitation to commence the activities of this conference, which reflects the generous care for the deep extent of his interest in this vital resource for the Kingdom of Bahrain in particular, and the GCC countries overall.

His Excellency also stressed that this conference, which is being held at the 12th session for the 4th time in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which will be attended by a number officials and specialists in the Water Sector from all GCC countries supports the efforts invested in discussing and following up on areas of common concern for the Gulf Cooperation Council.

His Excellency further, elaborated on the work of the Water Resources Council that is investing efforts and resources to take into account the decisions and recommendations of the conducted research towards the homogeneity and integration of the desired water policies between the GCC countries, which are geared towards addressing the challenges facing this vital resource, especially the risk of scarcity and depletion resulting from the growing demand for water by the rapid demographic growth and urbanization, climate change and rising average temperatures and rely on the desalination of sea water. Hence, introducing adverse financial, economic and environmental implications and threatening water security.

His Excellency further pointed out that today, more than ever before, we are necessitated to launch educational and awareness campaigns to reduce wastage of water, as well as to adopt intelligent distribution mechanisms to improve the management of our resources, as well as the protection and development of underground reservoirs and water reserves.

Shaikh Khalid also praised the efforts exerted by the organiser of this conference, WSTA, headed by Mr. Al-Mahmoud from the State of Qatar and the membership of a group of specialists and academics in water and scientific affairs from the GCC countries. He considered this Association as a successful example of the desired collaboration between the official institutions and institutions of civil society, in view of its valuable contribution to the promotion of scientific research, studies, training programs and the development of local capacities in the water sector.

Lastly, HE Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah wished for the aspired goals of the conference to be achieved in terms of identifying the critical challenges and opportunities facing the GCC countries in formulating integrated water strategies and sharing experiences and best practices among researchers, specialists, executives and the private sector in the region and beyond in the field of water resource management. At the same time, his Excellency welcomed the guests of Bahrain from the GCC countries participating in the conference, wishing them a good stay in the Kingdom.

During the opening ceremony, the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Water Resources Council, Dr. Waleed Zubari, delivered a speech on behalf of His Excellency the Minister of Electricity and Water, in which he expressed his appreciation and thankfulness to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister for his patronage of this important conference.

“In order to implement the approach of interdependence and integration among GCC countries in the water issue, we must work to support the knowledge gap in the areas of ​​water, energy and food correlation; this can only be achieved by investing in the human element and building and developing capacities at the different institutional and private sector levels” Dr. Waleed added.

Moreover, The Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Development Affairs Mr. Khalifa Alabri expressed his pleasure on the commencement of the Kingdom of Bahrain in formulating the National Water Strategy and its executive plan in the light of the Unified Water Strategy in the GCC countries. He also expressed his congratulations to Bahrain on this important step which indicates interest in this important resource for the development process in the Kingdom.

Nevertheless, Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Mahmoud, WSTA President, delivered a speech in which he also thanked His Royal Highness the Prime Minister for his patronage of this important Gulf gathering, pointing out that the conference will review more than 70 papers by researchers and specialists in different Water courses under four special sessions on the role of water regulators, water and energy interconnections, the environmental dimension of water and the groundwater aquifer in the Arab world. Additionally, the second day will include a training course on risk assessment in water resources management.

At the end of the ceremony, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah received a commemorative gift on behalf of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, presented by the Chairman and members of the Association to express his thanks and appreciation to His Highness for his patronage of this Gulf Conference.

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