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Water in a dry land: Can innovation drive water security?

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Water in a dry land: Can innovation drive water security?

13 November 2019

12:00 p.m. ET

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Water is one of the most precious—and often unappreciated—substances on Earth. It is not only needed for agriculture, industry, and energy production, but is also essential for the survival of most plant and animal life. Where it is plentiful, it is frequently taken for granted. Where it is scarce, it is a valued commodity and always front of mind. Given the challenges of living in a water-insecure environment, what can we do to alleviate the uncertainty of water availability? What technologies can be brought to bear that may improve water security? Qatar, a desert nation with decades of experience managing water insecurity, provides a perfect paradigm through which to discuss the hopes and challenges of a water-secure future. This panel discussion, recorded in Doha and part of the Qatar Foundation’s “Catalyzing the Future” series, focuses on how innovation can help address water security. Preeminent experts will share their views and expertise on this important topic in front of a live audience, covering topics such as the causes of water insecurity, what technologies are available to generate clean drinking water (including the pros and cons of different desalination methods), and the challenges presented by geography and local conditions in applying those technologies in different parts of the world.

Speaker bios

Huda Al-Sulaiti, Ph.D.

Qatar Energy and Environment Research Center
Doha, Qatar

Dr. Al-Sulaiti is senior research director of the Natural and Environmental Hazards Observatory (NEHO) at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), and acting senior research director for the Water Center at QEERI, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar. She served as assistant professor at Qatar University before joining QEERI in 2015. She is also the founding director for the Radiation Protection and Chemicals Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar. Her current research interest at QEERI focuses on establishing baselines for groundwater and seawater quality and generating a comprehensive atlas of contaminants. This work enables her to study water-associated health risks and further investigate suitable and feasible water treatment options that will positively contribute to achieving Qatar’s water security goal.

Ahmed Adbel-Wahab, Ph.D.

Texas A&M University
Doha, Qatar

Dr. Abdel-Wahab is a professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ). He has over 25 years of experience in water and environmental engineering teaching, research, and consulting. His research primarily focuses on chemical, electrochemical, and solar-driven photochemical processes associated with the treatment of water and wastewater, including CO2 reduction and H2 production. He has a strong track record in successfully delivering R&D projects funded by the Qatar National Research Fund and by many industry stakeholders. This research has led to the publication of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in leading research journals, nine book chapters, and more than 80 refereed conference publications/presentations. Dr. Abdel-Wahab is an editorial board member of the Journal of Water Process Engineering and an associate editor of Emergent Materials. He has served on several technical committees for several governmental and nongovernmental agencies in Qatar.

Rachael McDonnell, Ph.D.

International Water Management Institute
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dr. McDonnell is the Strategic Program Director for Water, Climate Change and Resilience at the International Water Management Institute’s Rome office and a global fellow at the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska in the United States. She leads a team of researchers working on innovative data, technology, policy, and governance solutions to support countries adapting and building resilience to the challenges of a changing climate. She received her doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Samer Adham, Ph.D.

ConocoPhillips Water Solutions
Doha, Qatar

Dr. Adham is the manager of the ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park. He has over 25 years of experience in developing innovative solutions for environmental challenges in the fields of water purification and desalination, wastewater treatment and recycling, and oil and gas water management. Dr. Adham has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, participated in over 300 conferences worldwide as an expert on advanced water technologies, and received multiple prestigious national and international awards. He received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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