UK and Bahrain join hands to face energy challenges

Manama : Experts from the UK, Bahrain and the Gulf region are discussing ways to develop solutions for regional issues relating to water and energy security at an event currently being held here. 

‘The Science Collaboration Symposium’ on Water, Energy and Food, focuses mainly on the recent advances in desalination and water reuse technologies. Ten researchers each from UK and Bahrain, and twenty from the other Gulf countries, were part of the discussions at the University of Bahrain’s Sakhir Campus. 

Organisers said that the event was start of a long term strategy of the governments of UK and Bahrain in working together in overcoming some of the challenges both sides face. 

“The workshop in Bahrain forms part of the UK Government’s broader strategic commitment to strengthen partnerships with research bodies and higher education institutions in Bahrain and the Gulf region through a new programme called the ‘Gulf Science Innovation and Knowledge Economy programme’,” the British council stated. 

“The Middle East is home to 70% of the world’s desalination plants, most of which are located in the Gulf. However, the more water they process, the less economically sustainable they become. The process is not only costly, it could also result in a situation known to researchers as ‘peak salt’ – the point at which, as a result of intensive desalination, this process becomes unfeasible. These
workshops will bring researchers together to tackle key challenges like these, helping to accelerate new thinking in the region,” the organisers stated. 

The symposium which is funded by the UK government, is being organised by the British Council in collaboration with the University of Bahrain. The event will conclude today.

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"We hope that our relationship with the British Council will go from strength to strength as we look to develop solutions for the regional issues of water, food security and renewable energy, which are the signature research areas for the UOB” 

Prof Riyad Hamzah, 

President, University of Bahrain

 

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"We have had productive discussions about food, water and energy security and how they are all linked. The issues are very sensitive in this region, especially the water security issue. The water resources here are coming from the desalination and desalination is not a sustainable way, efforts need to be taken to find and use alternative ways” 

Dr. Abdel-Samie Felfel

Economics Programme Manager, Qatar National Research Fund

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"I think it is a great step in the right direction that we are hosting events like this here. It is not a small matter that we have here 40 researchers from various countries to discuss these topics, it has been a great collaboration. This is not going to be the last, we will have more in the future.” 

Alan Rutt, 

Country Director of British Council 

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"We really need to look at more sustainable processes, even in food production. This can be achieved not necessarily by going more hightech, but being more efficient in use of the current system. Even looking back at the traditional systems of agriculture, there are principles that can be applied today that would boost production. Some of these traditional principles are simply not being applied anymore” 

Dr. Andrew Ada-Bradford

Senior Research Fellow in Stabilization Agriculture, Coventry University 



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