Water Forum

Monday 17th January

10.30 | Visit Exhibition

13.40 | Welcome Address

13.35 | The UAE’s new potable water outlook

Keynote Presentation

(Reserved; details to be announced)

14.00 | Leveraging the new water usage norms

Keynote Panel

Covid-19 has shifted water consumption trends but what does that mean for future planning and desalination requirements? This session debates how demand will change and what will stay the same, as working patterns shift and industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and food production consider localisation strategies. Where will the main opportunities for efficiencies now lie?

Confirmed Speaker:

Faisal Rashid

Director, Demand Side Management

Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai

14.40 | Renewing the region’s water strategy: Water self-sufficiency not efficiency?


In the wake of the pandemic does the water industry seek new policies focused on effectiveness rather than efficiency? Should decentralised, self-sustaining communities be the new priority? This discussion reviews a new blueprint for the region’s integrated water strategy and how government stimulus packages should be used to maximise social and economic opportunities in normal and emergency conditions.

Confirmed speakers:

Graeme Sims

Executive Director

RSB Dubai

Rami Ghandour

Managing Director

Metito Utilities

Dr. Corrado Sommariva

CEO and Founder


15.20 | Increasing household water efficiency

Panel Discussion

With the world’s consumption footprint shifted towards the residential sector, the region will have to work harder building a conservation culture that attaches value and quality to household water. This session raises awareness on policy and educational initiatives that have successfully changed consumer behaviour or incentivised technology/equipment retrofits to reduce water use. It also challenges what else can be done.  

16.00 | Close of Day One

Tuesday 18th January

10.30 | Welcome Address

10.35 | Decarbonising desalination: Aligning decoupled power with water production (Reserved)

Keynote Presentation

Governments are looking at how to align decoupled power and water production through the adoption of RO to reduce costs. This presentation will discuss Abu Dhabi's approach to displacing thermal cogeneration with the parallel (and pressing) need for decarbonisation.

Bruce Smith

Director of Forecasting and Planning

Emirates Water and Electricity Company

10.55 | Decarbonising desalination

Panel Discussion

Reverse Osmosis membrane technology has evolved to become today’s state-of-the-art water production technology. This session will focus on the status of energy-efficient measures and membrane technologies that can further reduce the carbon and chemical footprint of desalination. As RO takes more of the desalination capacity, it also asks where the opportunities are to further reduce the technology’s carbon footprint and what incentives need to be in place for this to happen. 

Senior Representative


11.35 | Building sector resilience through clean energy


With traditional plants relying on long distance fuel supply as well as strategic components such as chemicals and spare parts, the procurement and continuity of supply during times of pandemic can be expensive and logistically challenging. This session explores how increasing the renewable energy share in water generation will move the industry towards its sustainability goals and provide better protection against unforeseeable events. 

12.00 | The role of zero liquid discharge in decarbonisation


A circular approach to water management that should result in no discharge during the treatment process. This presentation looks at some of the promising solutions and approaches to zero liquid discharge (ZLD) that can lead to more water reuse, increased minerals recovery and lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

12.20 | Revisiting water re-use priorities

Panel Discussion

Building on the ZLD presentation, this panel will look at methods to increase the use of recycled water, which has the greatest potential to reduce desalination and lower energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and save money. But as a water resource is it undervalued and is local investment low? This session explores ways to increase the value and use of grey water, and therefore contribute to the decarbonisation of water in the region.

Confirmed Speakers:

Eng. Essam Al Mulla

Director of Water Department

Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority

Robert Bryniak


Golden Sands Management

13.00 | Visit Exhibition

14.30 | The new food security - water nexus

Panel Discussion

As the UAE moves towards food self-efficiency, it will create a further strain on scarce water resources. How can the most efficient water use be balanced with the pursuit of food security, and what sources of water can be tapped? What can be implemented in the short-, medium-, and long-term to fill the gaps in food security and water/energy consumption?

Confirmed speakers:

Dr Tarifa Al Zaabi

Acting Director General, International

Center for Biosaline Agriculture

Dr Mohamed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud

Advisor-Water Resources, Environment Quality

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

15.10 | Localised food production using brackish water?

Case Study

This presentation will look at the use of brackish water in the region, and where it is best suited.

Presented by:

Dr Mohamed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud

Advisor-Water Resources, Environment Quality

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

15.25 | Minimising water use in farming

Panel Discussion

This session explores the most promising innovations in agriculture/food production and their impact on water use/reuse. Is the move towards efficient indoor farming or should crop specific approaches be taken to maximise water efficiency?

Confirmed speakers:

Kyle Wagner

Head of Operations

Madar Farms

16.00 | Close of Day Two

Wednesday 19th January

10.30 | Welcome Address

10.35 | Innovation highway


Digitalisation and automation can deliver huge efficiencies in water management but the sector is years behind other industries. The good news is that recent events have shown that plants can be operated remotely and the appetite and opportunity for automation is high. These presentations will provide an eye-opening snapshot of some of the most promising innovations that will benefit the supply chain in the long-term.

Case Studies

10.35: Digital Twins

10.50: Remote monitoring of plants

11.05: Using AI in predictive maintenance

11.20: Audience Q&A

11.40 | Atmospheric water extraction - emergency backup or scalable strategy for clean water?


This interview will look at some the work being done around atmospheric water, looking at the technologies being used, their approaches to harvesting water, their cost vs value for money and if they are scalable.

12.05 | GCC water and wastewater projects

Case Study

As governments push for more efficient approaches to desalination and water reuse, this session will provide insight into the region's latest projects, where they are happening and why they are being built and commissioned. 

Presented by:

Ed James

Director of Content & Analysis

Meed Projects

12.25 | Lessons learnt in asset resilience for utilities

Panel Discussion

Many utility operations can be run remotely, benefiting the industry long-term. This session explores the lessons utilities have learned and the key takeaways in ensuring future asset resilience. How will the recruitment and development of specialists change? Is automation the main way forward?

13.00 | Visit Exhibition

14.30 | Aquifer recharge and water security

Panel Discussion

This session focuses on the artificial recharge of aquifers in ensuring sustainability, and economic and water security. It will look at the most feasible sources of water (based on pilot results) that can optimise this strategic water reserve during normal and emergency conditions, including TSE and mixed brine.

Confirmed Speaker:

Dr. Burkhard Goecke


Dornier Consulting International

15.10 | Optimising infrastructure investments through the cradle-to-grave lens

Panel Discussion

How to assess and maximise new investments in water infrastructure by considering the long-term, economic impact on the complete industry value chain. This session explains how to take an overall unit cost approach to water throughout an asset’s entire lifecycle.

16.00 | Close of Water Forum