Water Arabia, a conference that brought together Saudi government representatives and industry water professionals, was held Feb. 4-6 in the Kingdom.
The conference was organized under the patronage of HE Abdullah Al-Hussayen, the Minister of Water and Electricity, under the theme “Innovative Water and Wastewater Technologies for a Suitable Environment.” Saudi Aramco, represented by the Environmental Protection and Utilities Departments, was a diamond sponsor for the event.
“The reality is that sustainable water management is a value center that motivates us with incentives, rewards and added value,” Samir A. Al-Tubayyeb, vice president of Engineering Services, said in his opening remarks. He added that Saudi Aramco has used efficient technologies to decrease the amount of water it uses. Currently, 100 percent of the sanitary wastewater in Dhahran is treated and reused with 70 percent being reused company-wide.
HE Mohammed I. AlSaud, Deputy Minister for Water Affairs, said sustainability is critically important for Arab countries because of their limited supply of water. As Arab countries’ populations increase, economies grow and freshwater levels decline, sustainability will become essential. He pointed out that there is an opportunity to achieve a sustainable supply of water by eliminating waste and finding new sources through advanced technologies.
Mohammed Al-Hajri of one Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department spoke about the company’s Water Conservation Strategy highlighting the importance of the newly established Water Conservation Policy in pushing the water conservation efforts ahead in plans for the operating facilities’ plans. He explained how the conservation strategy provides incentives to save water and, as a result, the amount of fresh water that Saudi Aramco uses should decrease even as the company’s operations expand.
Ahmed S. Al-Rammah of the Consulting Services Department talked about Saudi Aramco’s technology mapping for water desalination. He highlighted some of the technologies that the company has deployed at its facilities to conserve water.
William G. Conner of the Environmental Protection Department presented the results from pilot tests for water treatment technology developed in a joint effort between Saudi Aramco and Siemens. He said that the results confirmed that the technology is capable of improving the environmental standards of oil-processing facilities and lowering treatment costs.
The Saudi Arabian Water Environment Association (SAWEA), a member association of the WEF, co-organized Water Arabia 2013 with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Water and Electricity. The event included three workshops led by international experts on advanced water technology on Feb. 4, an exhibition that included 28 local and national companies and more than 900 delegates from 20 countries.
PHOTO: Utilities Department Manager Musab A. Al-Mubayedh receives diamond sponsor award from Samir A. Al-Tubayyeb.