Water News


The 14th Meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) Regional Platform on Water, Lisbon, Portugal

Prof. Khaled AbuZeid, CEDARE Regional Director for Water Resources participated in the 14th Meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) Regional Platform on Water, held in Lisbon, Portugal, 5-6 June, 2024, and in the back to back Workshop on Digital Transformation of the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus in the Mediterranean, 4-5 June, 2024.

He delivered a presentation on “Reflections from the Arab Region on the WEFE Nexus”. He talked about several aspects of the WEFE Nexus including linkages between water and energy savings, the importance of considering energy requirements for irrigation modernization, the relevance of strategically-optimized virtual food water trade in water scarce countries due to the energy requirements for desalination when used for agriculture until cost is brought down to feasible levels. He highlighted the importance of green water for rainfed agriculture and the need to enhance its use in different parts if the world whenever rainfall is available as it requires less energy than blue water used for irrigated agriculture. He addressed the transboundary context of the WEFE Nexus and the essential need to reach agreements on infrastructure being built upstream of transboundary rivers to ensure they do not affect water, ecosystems, hydropower energy or food production downstream while attempting to provide water, energy or food production in upstream countries. He noted that the water decisions that are made today will affect the decisions that will need to be made in the future to make water available and the energy needed to make it available. Dr. AbuZeid also raised an important question regarding the required freshwater resources to produce green hydrogen and that every green hydrogen strategy should be associated with a freshwater requirements assessment, especially in water scarce countries.

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