Under the patronage of HE Abdullah Al-Hussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity, and in the presence of Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, Deputy Minister for Water Affairs, the 2015 Water Arabia Conference and Exhibition was held in al-Khobar under the theme “Innovative & Reliable Water and Wastewater Technologies for Sustainable Water Quality.” The Saudi Arabian Water Environment Association (SAWEA), Ministry of Water and Electricity, Water Environment Federation (WEF), International Desalination Association (IDA) and Dammam University organized the event, with major sponsorship support from Saudi Aramco. Hundreds of academics and environment and water affairs experts participated in the three-day conference, which included seminars and technical workshops. The participants came from specialized companies in the public and private sectors inside and outside of Saudi Arabia. Hany K. Abu Khadra, executive director of Saudi Aramco’s Community Services Department and conference committee chairman, spoke at the opening session. He said that the conference has come a long way since its inception six years ago: it has received solid support from the Saudi government, which has provided six billion riyals to support projects and studies that work towards water security in the Kingdom. “Saudi Aramco is a pioneer in the field of water conservation,” said Abu Khadra. “We invested in the company’s sewage treatment facilities and nearly 75 percent of wastewater produced by the company’s communities and operational facilities is being reused. By contributing to the preservation of precious groundwater in the Kingdom, the company seeks to achieve the well-being and prosperity of future generations.” He said the urgency of this issue requires everyone to make efforts to reach innovative solutions, such as the use of renewable energy in wastewater treatment and improving the efficiency of traditional uses of energy. The future of water In his speech, Al-Baghdadi stressed the sensitivity of the water situation in Saudi Arabia due to population growth and relatively scarce water resources. He noted that water conservation, the search for new technical methods and cooperation among states in the exchange of expertise and experiences on the water issue is urgently needed to preserve water resources in the Kingdom. “The Middle East uses 80 percent of the available water resources, while states in other regions of the world, such as Latin America and the Caribbean, use only 2 percent,” he said. Al-Baghdadi thanked Saudi Aramco for its culture of building long-term strategic objectives to provide water solutions for a secure future for the coming generations. Saudi Aramco’s presence Saudi Aramco offered six specialized scientific presentations in the technical program of the conference about the company’s experience regarding techniques and methods used in wastewater treatment and reuse. Zubair Aziz Khan presented on “Revision of Water Security.” He spoke about practices that can be adopted daily to rationalize water consumption. Ihssan Ansari spoke about modern technology in the design of water networks, with audience members asking about optimal means used. Adel Badghaish, Umapathy Dharmaraj, Ziyad Ahmad, Thamer Al-Mutairi and David Goode gave presentations on techniques that help to preserve water resources in the region. Achievements recognized The WEF Public Education Award recognizes individual achievements that promote and support the development of public awareness programs. This major global award for 2014 was given to Mahmoud Al-Muiqel, a SAWEA board member who is also a Saudi employee. Al-Muiqel was selected for his outstanding efforts in educating youth about water conservation, as he organized many visits to Saudi Aramco’s Sewage Treatment Plant, and provided several training programs for school students in the Dhahran area. The Arthur Sidney Bedell Award, given out by WEF in recognition of the efforts of one of its members, was awarded to Abdul Hamid Al-Mansur, SAWEA’s director.