Expert: Strategies to combat water security in the Middle East

Expert: Strategies to combat water security in the Middle East
Fady Juez, managing director, Metito.
Published: 13 August 2017 - 6:03 a.m.
By: Rajiv Ravindran Pillai

Fady Juez, managing director of Metito, talks to MEP Middle East on strategies to combat water security in the Middle East region.

Juez remarked that the MENA region is one of the most arid regions in the world and that "efficient water management is a mandate and not a luxury".

He said: "In a water-scarce environment, it becomes paramount for the water supply chain to be as efficient as possible. We must ensure that we are careful to avoid water wastage where possible. Water management solutions require the latest engineering and technology in order to safeguard this finite resource, and promote long-term security, building a more sustainable future for the populations and industries in the Middle East and Africa."

According to Juez, the Middle East and North Africa has less than 1.5% of the world’s renewable freshwater resources, and therefore, most of the region’s water supply comes from desalination.

Juez commented: "Sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination technology was previously one of the most common technologies used in the region, but as it uses a large amount of power. We have applied new techniques that provide the same result, but have less of an impact on the environment." 

He added: "We use zero-liquid discharge (ZLD), a treatment process that purifies and recycles all wastewater. Safely utilising treated sewage effluent (TSE) and other industrially treated wastewater also increases water security."

Juez said that there is a growing trend in the UAE and the larger MENA region for the recycling and reuse of TSE.

He added: "This saves lot of fresh potable water which was previously used for district cooling or other industrial requirements. This means we have to ensure that wastewater treatment plants treat wastewater to excellent standards, and then it can be further purified by technology such as Low Temperature Distillation (LTDis) to distill and purify water so that it can be used as an alternative water source for the district cooling systems.

"With the help of these new technologies, we are able to continuously extract a higher amount of potable water from sea water, and now extract up to 100% of the fresh water and leave just salt. The salt can then be used in industrial processes, or in colder countries it can be used for other purposes such as snow control."

Juez's complete views will appear in the 1209 issue of MEP Middle East's special report on Water Technology, which will be out on the first week of September 2017.

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