King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
at Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
March 2012 / Rabi Al-Thani 1433 Volume 2, Issue No. 7
KINGDOM'S CONSTANT QUEST FOR WATER
BEFORE 1932, the nomadic population of the land area that became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia traditionally migrated in search of food and water. With an accuracy that seemed instinctive, they used birdsong and
WATER SECURITY: KAUST SUPPORTS THE QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
animal tracks to lead them to water sources. Familiar with the wadis (ephemeral streams over an alluvial aquifer) they could find water by digging just a few feet below a seemingly dry surface. Bedouin would dig up cool stones just before sunrise, wait until the dew settled on them, and would then collect the water in an example of early condenser technology. When water was found, it KAUST research team with a world map indicating their home countries
was treasured. Saudi Arabia is one of the driest countries in the world described
THE KAUST Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC) not only
of Al Shoura (Saudi Parliament) that, "The
as “hyper-arid to semi-arid”,
pursues research in water desalination, recycling, and reuse, but also cru-
Water Security in the Kingdom is equal to the
with only 0.7% of the country’s
cially contributes to the other three globally significant research areas of the
area representing inland water
University, encompassing energy, food, and the environment, each as funda-
bodies such as lakes, reservoirs,
mental to life as water.
An astonishing 90% of wastewater is not used in this desert land where the true cost of a cubic meter of desalinated seawater is US$1. Key organi-
wadis and rivers. The population
The production of potable water, using energy-intensive thermal seawater
has burgeoned from an estimated
desalination processes, is costly in both capital and environment terms, even
zations, both public and private are, however, working
1.5-2.5 million in 1932 to 27 mil-
in Saudi Arabia where fossil fuels are available locally; it consumes eight
in partnership to expand the application of reclaimed
lion today, of which over 95% of
times more energy than pumping groundwater.
water with the goal of treating and reusing all wastewater by 2025. Prof. Amy
the population is settled - 85% of
The groundwater aquifers, which currently provide 80% of the country’s
believes that wastewater should be managed locally in treatment plants in both
them in the major cities. The pop-
water supply, have been depleting rapidly as the population grows and urbani-
rural areas and smaller cities across multiple sectors including agriculture, indus-
ulation is projected to reach 40M
zation increases. This source is expected to last only another 15-20 years. In
try, landscaping, recreation, and aquifer recharge. When reused, potable water is
in 2025, rising to 60M in 2060.
tandem with the WDRC’s extensive research on lower-energy, cost-effective,
often employed when less processed water would be equally acceptable and the
The Kingdom’s reliance on
and environmentally friendly desalination processes, Center Director Gary Amy
tailoring of water quality and treatment to future use is another hot topic.
desalination is evidenced by
and his world-class research team are focusing on diverse water innovation
Currently, little rainwater is collected, but rather drains from the local wadis
its extraordinary 30% of the
technologies to support sustainable and integrated water resource management
(riverbeds) into the Red Sea or the Arabian Gulf. By anticipating where rainwa-
global capacity, and its energy-
in the Kingdom in line with the vision of the University.
ter is most likely to fall and using these same riverbeds to collect water rather
intensive thermal desalination processes account for over half of the Kingdom’s domestic oil consumption. Major transmission lines transport water hundreds of kilometers inland and, like many countries in the region,
“Abundance and scarcity both present opportunities. Energy, both fossil and solar, provides a vast research opportunity because of its abundance here in Saudi Arabia. Water – because of its scarcity – gives us an opportunity on just as big a scale.”
than channel it, it is possible to replenish the aquifers with the soil acting as a natural filter.
- President Choon Fong Shih
Saudi Arabia loses one third of
The Beacon has published several recent articles looking at water desalina-
its potable water to leakage in
tion, so in this special issue, we will be highlighting wastewater reclamation,
distribution pipe networks. On a
conservation, and reuse. Articles on membrane technology (integral to many
per capita basis at almost 1000m3
processes), desert agriculture, climate modeling, and geo-engineering reflect
per annum, the Kingdom con-
the transdisciplinary research model the University embraces.
sumes 91% more water than the
It is only by taking the holistic view, as Prof. Amy does, that effective tech-
global average - an unintended
nologies, policies, and strategies can be implemented to effectively meet the
consequence of the government’s
aggressive goals necessary to meet the future water needs of Saudi Arabia.
Continued on p. 2
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud stated in a recent speech to the Council
Professor Gary Amy (right) with Mr. Nasir Moosa of Dow Water Security | Continued on p. 2
Water Research: In House Collaborations 3–5
Water Research: Partnering With Industry 6–7
“ Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink. “
very essence of our lives – and yet we waste it and sully it with seeming impunity.
IN 1797, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient
and holistic approach in our Water Desalination and Reuse Center to Professor Ingo
Mariner, describing an ill-fated voyage in which the scarcity of water in the famous
Pinnau’s Advanced Membranes & Porous Materials Center – our people are apply-
lines above might serve as a prescient omen for our planet’s journey today. As this
ing all of their energies, intelligence and imagination to this most precious of our
special BEACON issue dedicated to H2O illustrates, with water covering some 70% of
KAUST is committed, by its Founder’s vision, and its scientists’ passion to solving the challenges of water sustainability. From Professor Gary Amy’s comprehensive
- THE BEACON Editorial
the planet and with our bodies containing up to 78% water, it is truly intrinsic to the
ater, a Way of W Life: Sustainable Water Management in a Cultural Context by Lida Schelwald-van der Kley, Linda Reijerkerk Water, a Way of Life takes the reader on a watery journey through time and across the world’s continents. Along the
Write to us at email@example.com The Beacon, Issue 7, March 2012. Published by The Communications Department, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia. Contact Salah Sindi +966 (2) 808-3221, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Caroline Kingdon +966 (2) 808-2074, email Caroline.Kingdon@kaust.edu.sa © King Abdullah University, of Science and Technology. Printed on partially recycled paper.
way it explains the past and present ways in which different cultures, both traditional and modern, view and manage water in response to the distinct environments they inhabit.
Water Security | Continued from p. 1
Since its inception in July 2009, the WDRC has evolved and reached critical mass with an international research team of eight faculty members, seven
which will culminate in a discussion around the possible formation of a regional
Beliefs and values are at the heart of any
Water Reuse Think Tank (no pun intended!).
culture and this book also highlights the views of world religions on water and
research scientists, about 20 postdoctoral research associates, and some 30
Speaking about the Kingdom’s challenges and priorities, President Choon Fong
PhD students, all working in world-class resea rch facilities (over 1,000 m of
Shih observed: “Abundance and scarcity both present opportunities. Energy,
its use. Understanding cultures and their
laboratory space with $10M of equipment) and performing industry-driven
both fossil and solar, provides a vast research opportunity because of its abun-
beliefs and practices around water can
research with its 13 industrial affiliates.
dance here in Saudi Arabia. Water – because of its scarcity – gives us an
inform new concepts for future sustain-
opportunity on just as big a scale. Delivering science and technologies to secure
able water management – from flood
clean, sustainable water supplies is a key goal for our University.”
management to water supply, sanitation
Conscious of its role in the region, KAUST will be co-hosting a workshop in Muscat, Oman on April 12 entitled, Moving Water Reuse Forward in the GCC Region,
and irrigation management. Kingdom's Constant Quest For Water | Continued from p. 1
generous subsidy of 92% of the total cost of pro- municipal wastewater has increased to 6.67M m3/day systems for reclaimed water that could be integrated ducing it. As the population increases, tariff reforms of which some 33% is treated and then discharged in wadis, in or close to urban settings. As well as guaranteeing potable water for poorer residents and as waste to tidal waters or wadis. Only 21% of the minimizing the evaporative losses that dams suffer, supporting economic growth will need consideration. treated water is reused, so the potential for future ARR can lead to the attenuation of pathogens and Yet surprisingly, desalinated water constitutes a water reuse is substantial. In 2008, the National Water trace organic chemicals. mere 6% of the total water consumed annually; 80% Company was created by Royal Decree to restructure
In Riyadh – meaning “Garden,” 450,000m 3 of
This book is available at the University Library.
Water Chemistry by Mark M. Benjamin Water Chemistry is a good
comes from most fossil (non-renewable) groundwater drinking and wastewater services in compliance with treated sewage is used daily in the Wadi Hanifa
starting point for understanding of the
reserves and 14% from renewable water sources such international standards through public-private part- Wetlands Project, which won an international award
chemistry of natural and polluted water
as surface water, so that water demand is seven times nerships globally. the natural renewable resources available. Almost all
for Islamic architecture. The green valley it has cre-
As most wastewater is generated in urban areas, ated is used for recreational purposes including fishing
and wastewater treatment. This textbook describes the principles of chemical
of the annual rains fall in the southern hills; when distributed (decentralized) infrastructure can facilitate and picnicking, attracting migratory birds as well as
kinetics, dilute solution equilibria, effects
rain falls elsewhere, it is rare and unevenly distrib- tailored water reuse locally thus avoiding the sig- increasing date palm production for local farmers.
of temperature and ionic strength, and
uted. Much non-renewable groundwater is linked to nificant cost of large water conveyance systems. By The water also helps to irrigate the public gardens and
thermodynamics in relation to water
food production; this water is being rapidly depleted using automated plants with hybrid membrane bio- parks recalling why Riyadh is so-named.
chemistry. The book gives a strong em-
and will not sustain demand without water conser- reactors, effluent quality can be high with minimal
phasis to graphical interpretation of data.
vation measures in agricultural irrigation. While only load on centralized facilities. Air conditioning con-
General view of the Wadi, 2005. ©Agha Khan Architecture awards.
9% of total municipal wastewater in the Kingdom is densate is another water source being investigated;
In Water Chemistry concepts are not only developed mathematically, but also
currently reused, the amount of reused is projected in humid air, a domestic air conditioner can generate
explained in terms of molecular structure
to increase by 800% to make Saudi Arabia the third over 60 liters of condensate/day.
and interactions. Numerous analogies
largest reuse market after China and the US by 2016.
from non-chemical systems round out
Storage and alternative treatment processes
Along with growing population and water demand, include artificial recharge and recovery (ARR)
the presentation and facilitate the development of an understanding of the con-
IN BRIEF EXPERTS ON MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY TO MEET AT KAUST
cepts, while extensive example problems April 1. Examples of original art to be featured in the
At the closing ceremony, the scientific committee
exhibition include paintings, photography, fabric
made several recommendations for advancing seis-
art, jewelry, sculpture, and ceramics. The exhibition
mological research in Arab countries. These would
will open with a reception on April 23 and will run
address both fundamental scientific questions and
until May 4.
problems of large socio-economic impact that call
All KAUST ID holders are welcome to partici-
for open international cooperation and mutual
KAUST is hosting the European-Middle East School
pate. Submissions must be ready to display. A
data and knowledge exchange. They include
on Membrane Technology for Sustainable Water
committee made up of community members will
seismic and volcanic hazard studies; research
Desalination and Reuse from April 28 – May 3. The
review all exhibition material for suitability.
on the lithospheric structure of the Arabian
deadline for registration is March 10. “This will be a very good opportunity to host some of the top European names
and engineered aquatic systems. This book is available at the University Library.
Solving the World’s Water Problems by Colin Chartres, Samyuktha Varma
Peninsula; global archiving of regional seismic
Solving the World’s Water Problems is an
For further information, visit: libguides.kaust.edu.sa/
and GPS networks and, importantly, the found-
e-book, part of the University Library’s
ing of the Arabian Seismological Commission. It
growing electronic collection. It describes
is hoped that the next Gulf Seismic Forum (Spring
the looming water crisis facing the world.
2014 in Oman) will show some fruits from these
This crisis is a result of a growing world
population, changing dietary habits, and
in membrane technology,” says symposium chair Dr. Suzana Nunes from
demonstrate their application to natural
ADVANCES IN GULF SEISMOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Water Desalination and Reuse Center. Organized together with the European
OVER 300 participants from 29 countries dis-
the competition for water from many
Membrane Society, the symposium brings together
cussed seismicity, tectonics, and natural hazards
sectors of a society increasingly urban
students and researchers from KAUST and other
in the Arab region at the biennial Gulf Seismic
and industrial in nature. The agricultural
universities. Topics covered in the program include
Forum (GSF), held biennially in Jeddah in
sector receives particular attention
polymer and ceramic membranes, membrane charac-
January. The highly successful conference was
in this study.
terization, and membrane processes and engineering.
organized by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS)
Lack of water for growing food will be
Dr. Nabil Nada from First National Operation and
under the scientific leadership of Dr. Martin Mai,
one of the most critical challenges in
Maintenance Company(NOMAC) will provide an
Professor of Earth Science & Engineering at
the 21st century. What is needed, the
overview of desalination in Saudi Arabia.
KAUST. The Minister for Petroleum and Mineral
authors suggest, is a “Blue Revolution”
Resources, His Excellency A.I. Al-Naimi made the
that starts with effective water measure-
opening remarks. KAUST scientists made a strong
ment and monitoring systems and ends
contribution to the 65 presentations and 83 post-
by creating positive incentives to break
THE University Library will be accepting entries for the
ers on display, and were also able to showcase
the cycle of water poverty.
2012 annual Artists of KAUST Exhibit until Sunday,
the University’s research and education programs.
BRING YOUR ART TO THE KAUST ART EXHIBIT!
Water Research: In House Collaborations
USING WADIS TO RECHARGE AQUIFERS HYDROGEOLOGIST and Visiting Professor Thomas Missimer has been “in water” for over 37 years and is passionate about the use of natural systems for its filtration, purification, and storage. He explains that Western Saudi Arabia consists primarily of Precambrian shield rocks of a crystalline nature, containing only a few aquifers within wadi systems. The wadis contain loose sediment, sand, and boulders and are the only locations where water can permeate the surface when rain falls. Storms are often violent and extreme causing flash floods, which shake the ground and are capable of moving half-meter diameter boulders in their wake. “Had Jeddah been able to store the water that passed through the city in the 2009 flood, it could have supplied the population
Using aquifer water from a local well for agricultural irrigation
for between five and ten years,” he explains. “As it was, most ended up in the Red Sea with some standing in pools on the impenetrable surface for weeks.”
Water Evaluation and Management, will be published by Springer later this year.
Prof. Missimer deems two systems adept to address the country’s growing needs: Aquifer
Prof. Missimer considers that “Saudi Arabia is a natural laboratory that contains many
Recharge and Recovery (ARR) for the storage of treated wastewater and the more strategic Aquifer
unresolved issues of a technical nature and corresponding water policy issues. KAUST,
Storage and Recovery (ASR) for the storage of treated potable water. This water would only be
with its experienced faculty and resources, provides a great opportunity for research-
used during emergencies (desalination plant failure) or extreme droughts. Placement of treated
ers to make significant contributions to help resolve regional and global research
wastewater and stormwater into wadi aquifer (ARR) allows the natural system to filter out con-
taminants so that the water can be used for unrestricted agricultural irrigation. Aquifers have the added advantage over dams of low evaporation. It is by using these wadis in a similar way to bank filtration (see diagrams) - that is, by taking advantage of the percolation of water through existing geologic formations to filter it, removing pathogens and other organic materials - that Prof. Missimer sees hope for a cost-effective way to recharge the aquifers. “The one water supply that is increasing with the population is wastewater,” Prof. Missimer points out, “Moreover it is produced at the very place where it is most needed and, if used locally, is more cost-effective than piping it long distances.” In Windhoek, Namibia, the driest country south of the Sahara, wastewater is treated to drinking water standards and goes back into the drinking water supply. There are no other viable options to produce drinking water. One of the reasons the aquifers of Saudi Arabia have been so depleted is the recent expansion of agriculture responding to demand, though wheat cultivation is no longer being government subsidized and is planned to end by 2016. However, the replacement of wheat crops with other crops has actually increased water use in many areas, thereby making the problem worse. Prof. Missimer is adamant that storage techniques must go hand in hand with measures to increase the water survey and reduce agricultural water wastage. Prof. Missimer looks forward to the information that will be provided by a new NASA satellite with a 1-2 km resolution that will help to locate underground water with greatly increased accuracy. He has a paper accepted in the journal, Ground Water entitled Wadi Aquifer Systems: Restoration and enhancement by aquifer recharge and recovery and his most recent of seven books, Arid Lands: Using wadi beds to treat wastewater
ADDRESSING FOOD SECURITY IN A PARCHED LAND
Precision “fertigation,” which combines subsurface drip irrigation with fertilizer application, is about making the most efficient use of both water and nutrients. Driving desalination with solar energy can be both cost-effective and environmentally acceptable. Minimizing freshwater use and nutrient pollution diminish agriculture’s ecological footprint.
IN an increasingly populous and resource-scarce world, food secu-
Secondly, crops can be developed that tolerate the saline water
rity is a major concern. In a country such as Saudi Arabia, with a
produced by partial desalination or obtained directly from the sea.
still-growing population, a paucity of arable land and shrinking
There are naturally salt-tolerant plants, such as Salicornia (sea
groundwater resources, it is becoming critical.
asparagus; a vegetable that can be eaten and whose seeds can
NEW CENTER DIRECTOR'S TOP TWEET “I am pleased to be a member of this forward-looking university focused on the big issues of the 21st century: water, food and energy for a world of 9 billion people."
Science, engineering, and technology must converge on the
be used for cooking oil or made into high-protein animal feed)
Provost Stefan Catsicas and Dean Pierre Magistretti
dual challenges of increasing agricultural output under steadily
and Distichlis (saltgrass), both of which are known technically
announced the appointment of Distinguished Professor Nina
deteriorating climatic conditions and developing much greater
as halophytes. Crop plants that do not normally tolerate salt can
Fedoroff as Acting Director of the Plant Stress Genomics Center.
water-efficiency in agriculture in the face of declining ground
be made more salt-tolerant through modern molecular modifica-
Professor Fedoroff is a 2006 National Medal of Science laureate.
water supplies. KAUST is poised to be a major contributor at this
tion. Researchers at KAUST are developing a suite of precise and
She recently completed her term as the President of the American
efficient molecular genome modification tools to accelerate the
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has
domestication of halophytes and the genetic modification of salt-
just returned from Vancouver, Canada where she presided over
sensitive crop plants.
the Association’s 2012 annual meeting. She currently serves
With substantial investments in alternative energy, membranes, desalination, computational biology, and plant stress physiology, the University is harnessing many disciplines to address the needs
Researchers at KAUST are looking at many other ideas.
as the Chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. According to the
of the Kingdom and of the global community in a world growing
Aquaponics, a system that involves the integration of aquaculture
Association’s media department, a quote from her Presidential
hotter and more crowded, as well as regionally more arid.
and hydroponic horticulture, is an effective system for maximiz-
address was a “top tweet” during the annual meeting.
There are several ways to tackle desert agriculture. Firstly, desert
ing the use of both water and minimizing the need for added plant
land, now considered unsuitable for farming, can be made pro-
nutrients. Such integrated systems can be based on either fresh
Professor Fedoroff is a world-renowned geneticist and
ductive using solar desalination technology combined with more
water or saline water, producing fish and shellfish, as well as fruits,
molecular biologist and has done fundamental research on
efficient irrigation methods to minimize evaporative loss. Newly
vegetables and herbs.
the molecular biology of plant transposons and on the mecha-
greened desert coastlines can also help to sequester the carbon
nisms plants use to adapt to stressful environments.
dioxide that contributes to global warming. This is about tailoring
She told The Beacon, "I am pleased to be a member of this
the water to the needs of the plants, about minimizing the energy
forward-looking university focused on the big issues of the 21st
needed to generate the water and recycling water, as well as about
century: water, food and energy for a world of 9bn people."
delivering the water directly to where it is needed, the plants’ roots.
Water Research: In House Collaborations
CLIMATE MODEL SEES HAZARDS AHEAD 25-km resolution global simulations at KAUST
“IT’s very dangerous to play with the real world,” explained Professor Georgiy Stenchikov, Chair
storms; and are contributing to a
of the Earth Science program in the Division of Physical Science and Engineering when he spoke
UN project looking at the impact of cli-
to The Beacon, “that’s why we prefer to play with models!”
mate change on water resources in Arab countries.
What would the impact on the Kingdom be if we could refashion the mountains, encourage a
Quite apart from the computational capacity
volcano to erupt, or clear the air of dust? In fact, doubling the height of the Hejaz Mountains so
available to the researchers, the team’s access to
that the warm air coming from the Red Sea (which loses 2 meters of water depth annually through
a 25 km resolution global simulation is unique.
evaporation) was forced to rise would almost certainly induce rainfall. Unfortunately because of the
Combined with satellite images updated every
way the water would drain along the wadis, this would cause severe flooding in low lands including
15 minutes both in infrared and solar spectrum,
Jeddah and Thuwal. And if a volcano the size of Pinatubo erupted? The predicted outcome would
patterns of dust pollution can be detected and events recorded that will
be for temperatures in the region to fall some 2-3 degrees because the fine particulates developed
ultimately lead to more robust predictions of strong dust outbreaks. By looking back to 1979 when
in the stratosphere 25 km above the ground would reflect the sun’s rays as they did following its
satellite observations began, the group is hoping to be able to forecast to 2050. There is evidence of
eruption in 1991. The resulting bleaching of the corals was stark evidence of this particular envi-
30-year oscillations in local warming and cooling over the Arabian Peninsula, currently stable after
ronmental trigger. And if we were able to clear the air of sand and dust so that the sun’s rays were
a period of sharp increase since 1970s exacerbated by global warming.
undeflected, the models show the increased downward solar radiation could warm the Red Sea by
“KAUST facilitates transdisciplinary research and we combine climate science, meteorology, chemistry, material science, applied math and numerical methods in this work.”
several degrees with a significant effect on ecological systems. Prof. Stenchikov and his international group of postdocs, PhD and master’s students work closely with colleagues from the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), the Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering Division, Shaheen Supercomputer Lab, KAUST IT Scientific Computing, and the
Prof. Stenchikov hopes that by more accurately predicting severe precipitation, water could be
University Library to examine the dynamic and physical reasons for the local climate and to help predict
contained and used. “But water resources in Kingdom are not just about precipitation,” he explained.
future climate change. With its particu-
“There are geological processes associated with groundwater depletion that could be irreversible. In
lar strengths, the group is working closely
some cases, the loss of pressure leads to aquifers being filled with saltwater; in others, the morphol-
with collaborators including the National
ogy is such that the aquifers could collapse and be lost forever.”
Surface Air Temperature Variability in the Central Arabian Peninsula (K)
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
And what of those dust storms? Anecdotally, they are increasing in frequency affecting visibility
(NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
and human health; indeed there is dust in the atmosphere for up to five kilometers over the Kingdom.
Laboratory on high-resolution global cli-
However, that needn’t be all bad. In order to produce rain, much lower supersaturation is required in a
mate modeling, National Aeronautics and
dusty atmosphere than in a clean one as aerosol particles affect the microphysics of cloud formation.
Space Administration (NASA), and Imperial
“KAUST is an ideal place to be,” Prof. Stenchikov remarked. “It facilitates transdisciplinary
College London on aerosol observations;
research and we combine climate science, meteorology, chemistry, material science, applied math
University of Texas (UT) in Austin on dust
and numerical methods in this work.”
NEW APPROACHES PROMOTE WASTEWATER RECLAMATION
WASTEWATER TREATMENT RESEARCH PEEKS UNDERGROUND Mazahirali Alidina Along with other researchers at the Water Desalination
MANY wastewater purification techniques have been around for decades but optimizing different approaches for maximum
In her research, Dr. Yoon uses columns of synthetic soil to
and Reuse Center, PhD candidate Mazahirali Alidina is try-
effectiveness and water quality is an ongoing task. In areas of
imitate the travel of water through soil. She compares the quali-
ing to maximize the removal of trace organic chemicals
water scarcity, recharging aquifers could prove to be a clever
ties of water when ARR is either used alone or before or after
from wastewater in Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) sys-
way of producing drinking water.
ozonation, using actual wastewater from Jeddah and KAUST.
tems at low cost using soil filtration. Facing the challenges
“Water to us is very complicated as it comes down to the molec-
of understanding conditions underground and the control
ular level,” she explains.
of natural systems, Alidina is particularly interested in the
Postdoctoral fellow Min Yoon, whose background is in analytical chemistry, is looking into the ways Aquifer Recharge and Recovery (ARR) and ozonation can work together to make water
Dr. Yoon is also interested in the characterization of wastewater
treatment more efficient, to remove contaminants from wastewa-
to find out which factor is responsible for removing a particu-
ter, and to provide bio-stable water.
lar pollutant. Organic micropollutants can be traced using liquid
ARR, used mainly in Germany and California, is also known as
chromatography and mass spectrometry.
role of biodegradable organic carbon, microbial adaptation and the role of temperature in the process. One of the KAUST’s founding class, Kenyan-born Alidina arrived here from the University of Toronto where
riverbank filtration, soil aquifer treatment or Aquifer Storage and
While education increases the acceptability of waste-
he earned his BASc. Motivated by the top-notch research-
Recovery (ASR). It is a natural process that can be either planned
water reuse, various contaminants such as medicines and
ers and facilities at WDRC, he hopes to continue his work
or unplanned. As water filters through a soil passage, microbes
personal hygiene products require removal from recycled water.
in the water sector.
attenuate organic contaminants. No chemicals are needed but the
Ozonation is one method for this but the process does have
method is relatively slow.
“I am really passionate about this field and I see it becoming increasingly important. I hope research will
Ozonation, the infusion of ozone gas into water, is rapid
Dr. Yoon explains future challenges: “We may be able to
uncover many of the uncertainties associated with waste-
and effective but more expensive as it requires chemi-
remove ibuprofen, for example, from the water but the chemi-
water reuse and make the practice more acceptable in the
cals. The method is widely used in drinking water treatment
cal process may create a byproduct which is hard to identify and
eyes of the public.”
instead of chlorination.
and may have unknown health effects.”
Water Research: In House Collaborations
MEMBRANES AT THE HEART OF WATER PROCESSING “THE heart of any membrane system is the membrane,” Professor Ingo Pinnau told The Beacon, “and like the chip in a computer, the
of optimized, high surface area hollow fibers. In over 90% of current desalination and wastewater treatments using reverse osmosis (RO), water under pressure is filtered through
smaller and faster it is, the better.” In fact water-related research is just one small part of the
a spiral-wound module made from layers of flat-sheet membrane.
Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials (AMPM) Center’s work
The challenge for Prof. Pinnau’s team is to produce an alterna-
in the fundamental science of membrane technology, but one that
tive membrane that can compete with the current technology,
encourages transdisciplinary collaboration and could contrib-
which has seen dramatic improvements in efficiency since 1980,
ute significantly to the Kingdom’s need for enhanced technology
to increase water flux and address the challenges of fouling by
scaling, natural organic matter and biofilm formation on the mem-
The inauguration of the Advanced Membranes and Porous
brane surface. “Fouling-resistant membranes have great commercial
Materials Center will take place on March 6–7, 2012 at KAUST. The
potential,” explained Prof. Pinnau, Director of the AMPM Center.
event, which is open to all KAUST staff and students, will include
“The problem is that any solute adhering to a membrane surface
a two-day technical symposium with invited world-class scientists
inevitably decreases the water flux.” The team is hoping to develop
presenting some of their cutting-edge research.
an advanced hollow fiber membrane aiming for a 5-10 fold increase
Membranes are integral to seawater desalination, the treatment of brackish water, and the removal of organic compounds as well
in permeate productivity in water desalination in a market which continues to expand significantly with increasing demand.
Above: a hollow fiber bundle produced by the AMPM center. Right: Professor Pinnau
as water reclamation and reuse. The semi-permeable filter allows
Large RO seawater desalination facilities have high-energy
only the passage of water while rejecting essentially all other
demands and are often situated close to power plants to make use
solutes from the feed water source. Groundbreaking advances in
of the waste heat produced, which in turn provides cooling for
membrane-based water treatment technology can be achieved in
the power plant. After completion of a two-stage reverse osmosis
two ways by: (1) allowing higher intrinsic water permeability of
process for production of potable water, the concentrated brine is
Similarly, diluting seawater with other low-salinity water sources
the membrane and minimizing the thickness of the membrane’s
pumped back into the sea. Prof. Pinnau explained that the brine
by FO can be used to generate green electricity. Capitalizing on the
selective barrier layer material by applying fundamental materials
so produced could be diluted before it is discharged into the sea
significant salinity gradient between river water and seawater, pres-
science or (2) improving the output of membranes by increasing
when used as a draw solution in a forward osmosis (FO) process
sure-retarded osmosis could be used to generate electricity without
the packing density in a membrane module by the development
by removal of water from a low-salinity wastewater water source.
any harmful emissions.
WASTEWATER HOLDS POTENTIAL
biotechnology called bio-electrochemical systems. This treated
DR. Pascal Saikaly, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science
can be treated and reused where it is produced. The tailored uses of
and Engineering, has a background in microbial ecology and envi-
treated sewage could include the irrigation of parks and golf courses.
wastewater could be used for different purposes, for example in agriculture, irrigation, or cooling towers. Prof Saikaly envisages decentralized systems so that wastewater
ronmental biotechnology. His current research focuses on integrating
As well as working with colleagues in the Visualization Core Lab,
cutting-edge -omic tools (genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic)
Prof Saikaly’s group works closely with colleagues at the Bioscience
with bioprocess engineering to optimize and create new biotechnol-
Core Lab by utilizing the next generation sequencing and proteomic
ogies for wastewater reclamation and reuse. Using microorganisms
facilities. “Genetic tools can help us think like microorganisms,” he
to treat wastewater and generate energy, these technologies aim to
explains, “so that we can better manage them to provide us with
be robust, scalable, and capable of providing tailored water quality
services to society such as treatment of wastewater and generation
while reducing both the current reliance on fossil fuels and the envi-
Professor Saikaly with his team.
large Saudi company. Prof. Saikaly feels that KAUST offers him an unparalleled oppor-
ronmental damage associated with the current processes. Wastewater
It is not just within the University that such collective activity is
tunity for fundamental and goal-oriented research and looks forward
is rich in organic substrate, which is a source of food for bacteria.
happening. Prof. Saikaly and his team have productive relationships
to success in future wastewater treatment and desalination endeavors
Bacteria clean the wastewater by converting organic matter directly
with other academic institutions in the United States and Europe and
that promise to minimize not only the use of finite resources but also
to electricity; electrodes capture the electrons generated in a novel
have a proposal under consideration for a new collaboration with a
the carbon footprint of such activities.
MICROBES FUEL CELLS
BREAKING THE MOLD!
JORDANIAN PhD Student Ahmed Alhamadat is looking at the concept
PHD student Craig Werner originally started at KAUST work-
WHEN Master’s student David Mantilla
of “Constructed Wetlands” technology for his thesis in Environmental
ing as a center administrator for Professor Gary Amy in
decided to study science he broke the mold.
Science and Engineering under the supervision of Professor Gary Amy.
August 2009, having deferred his enrolment as a PhD stu-
Coming from a family with four genera-
Constructed wetlands (CWs) offer a simple, natural, cost-effective
dent to the following semester. He officially transitioned into
tions of architects, they were delighted
and efficient way to treat wastewater. These systems of artificially cre-
the PhD program to begin his studies in the spring of 2010.
when he became a microbiology major
ated shallow lined basins (< 1m deep) filled with plants, are designed
Building on his background in microbiology and biochemis-
at Los Andes University in Colombia. But
to treat wastewater - both primary and secondary effluents. The basin
try, as well as industry experience in the water sector, Werner
later, working in a molecular biology lab
size would be determined by the need, which could be as small as just
is focusing on the use of microbial fuel cells for energy recov-
as a graduate, Mantilla felt there was something missing is his
ery as well as wastewater treatment and water reuse. The
chosen field; there seemed to be little room for creativity and he
CWs use only natural biological processes; performance assessments
technology has been shown to be exceptionally versatile as
was frustrated that much of the pure science was never trans-
indicate that these integrated treatment systems have the potential to
it is possible to desalinate water, produce hydrogen and even
lated into anything practical. Seeking to “bridge his two passions:
remove nutrients and organic matter, as well as bacteria and viruses.
useful products such as caustic solutions by integrating dif-
biology and architecture”, he saw an opportunity in sustainable
A growing problem is the number of emerging organic micropol-
ferent technologies. The integration of forward osmosis with a
urban development and applied to KAUST to study Environmental
lutants (OMPs) including pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs)
microbial fuel cell is a recent application that he is investigat-
Science. He is realizing his dream as he works with Professor Gary
released into wastewater that are eventually found in surface and
ing and though still at the lab-scale, the technology has great
Amy to develop a modular system of photo-bioreactors to treat
ground water; the increased, widespread use of drugs is exacerbating
promise. “I am excited for the future prospects of MFC tech-
wastewater in large buildings so that it can be reused. Dedicated
this environmental problem. Initial work suggests that CWs can effi-
nology and am optimistic that we will see some form of real
glass panels in a building’s façade housing populations of algae
ciently reduce concentrations of OMPs. Alhamadat is looking closely
application in the coming years,” Werner told The Beacon.
would be fed “grey” water; these simple photosynthetic organ-
at the potential of one particular plant, the reed phragmites australis,
isms would use the nutrients in the water combined with the light
to remove PhACs.
and warmth to grow removing the microbiological pollutants and
Alhamadat is delighted to have been chosen to present a paper
in the process, cleaning the water. An added bonus would be the
discussing the removal of PhACs using constructed wetlands
capacity of the algae to create different natural pigments so that
at the 9th International Conference on Constructed Wetlands
the color of the panels would never be static!.
(INTECOL 9) in the USA in June.
Water Research: Partnering With Industry
The Beacon PHOTOS BY THOMAS MISSIMER
Dr. Adil Bushnak and Professor Walid Abdurrahman speak of their organizations’ collaboration with the Water Desalination Research Center.
SHARING WISDOM IN THE KINGDOM....
technologies and agriculture, to facilitate open communication, collective enterprises, creativity and remote learning. Dr. Bushnak shared his concerns that there is much focus on increasing water desalination using conventional fuel sources rather
DR. Adil Bushnak, President of the Bushnak Group and the
than on managing the demand for water, promoting water reuse and
Bushnak Academy, former President of the International Desalination
recovery, and minimizing agricultural water use.
Dr. Adil Bushnak
Association and founder and Chairman of the Saudi Water & Power
Dr. Bushnak believes that specific national policies defining objec-
with the necessary local expertise to ensure their smooth imple-
Forum (SWPF), sees KAUST as a catalyst for change that will facili-
tives and encouraging pragmatic programs are required both for the
mentation, as well as by contributing to student development with
tate sustainable, equitable and balanced economic development and
welfare of the Saudi people and for water security in the region. He
high-caliber hands-on training.
encourage economic diversity through the growth of the knowledge
lauds the plans of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
Professor Walid is confident that the research undertaken by the
economy in the Kingdom.
(KACST) to build a solar powered advanced membrane desalination
WDRC will have a significant impact on confronting the challenges
Dr. Bushnak addressed the three-year collaboration between the
plant in Al-Khafji jointly with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation
involved in water treatment problems in the Kingdom, the Gulf
Bushnak Group and KAUST in an interview with The Beacon, a part-
(SWCC), as well as its efforts to increase local capacity nationally for
region and other arid areas internationally. He has no doubt that
nership based on mutual interests moving in three parallel streams.
the production of cells and membranes. He is hopeful that by assuming
such research will be instrumental in reducing water treatment costs
Firstly, the group is helping KAUST to cooperate with the concerned
leadership, SWCC can build further complementary programs in col-
and boosting efficiency, both factors in helping to mitigate the water
agencies to facilitate and expedite reclaimed water reuse mechanisms
laboration with other government and private organizations.
deficit in the Kingdom and meeting the drinking, industrial and agri-
and programs following the recommendations made by KAUST in
cultural demands for water. He highlighted KAUST’s involvement in
lective work with both businesses and research centers around water
...TO RESOLVE INDUSTRIAL PROBLEMS
technologies, renewable energy and desert farming.
PROFESSOR Walid Abderrahman, Chairman of the Miahona
work alonside local companies and research centers to seek
2011; secondly it is helping KAUST to establish a water and food security institute in collaboration with Professor Walid Abdurrahman, CEO of Miahona Co., to serve as a global hub; thirdly there is col-
one particular project on the treatment and reuse of sanitary drainage water in Jeddah. Professor Walid is heartened by the positive spirit he sees among the KAUST research community and its willingness to
Initiatives in progress include the construction of a demonstration
Company, is delighted to be in a relationship with KAUST’s
solutions together. He has visited the WDRC several times and
experimental farm using salt water and wind and solar energy in col-
WDRC and sees its role as both pioneering and global. He told
recently gave a talk about water security in the Kingdom and
laboration with water engineer and inventor Nassar El Madhoun (see
The Beacon that the company, engineering consultants in
there have already been meetings to discuss future work in desert
following article), and joint programs with the annual SWPF and the
water and wastewater, welcomes the opportunity to work with
Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) Initiative to consolidate
the WDRC and its “outstanding research capabilities including
Professor Walid comments that KAUST promises to serve as a
the desalination research efforts in KSA.
eminent researchers and state-of-the-art facilities conducive to
focal point for scientific and policy communication around the
development of sanitary drainage water treatment and process-
growing challenges of water scarcity in the 21st century. “With the
ing and reuse of desalinated water.”
projected population increase, such scientific programs must be
Dr. Bushnak hopes that KAUST, with its robust links to both local and international research centers, will play a pioneering role in the establishment of electronic portals. These aim to enhance knowl-
Miahona contributes as a member of the KAUST Industrial
edge and creativity in specialized fields, including water desalination
Collaboration Program (KICP) by providing water-related projects
established to seek vital practical solutions for water and food security for future generations,” he remarked.
DOW AND KAUST ALIGN TO SEEK SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS The Beacon asked Dr. Ilham Kadri, Commercial Director, Dow Water and Process Solutions (DW&PS) Europe, Middle East and Africa, about the company’s relationship with KAUST around water.
KAUST currently working together to address the needs of the Middle East? A: Having research facilities that are dedicated to water
Q: What do you hope Dow offers the University, and what does the University offer Dow as they move forward in partnership? A: Dow has a long and proud history of innovation. It is in our
based right here in the region is critical to addressing the
DNA. More than 100 years ago, our founder, Herbert H. Dow, said:
Q: Can you tell us a little more about Dow as a company and its role in the Middle East? A: The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) is one of the world’s
future needs of the Middle East. There are unique condi-
“If you can’t do it better, why do it at all?” That is a philosophy
tions in our region that are unlike any in the world. Being
that our talented employees and scientists apply daily.
on the ground and understanding the conditions that impact
Dow has one of the largest R&D investment programs in the
leading chemical companies, present in 36 countries, employing
the quality of life in the region is essential. Our ultrafiltra-
industry with combined spending of nearly USD 2 billion. But it’s
52,000 people worldwide. We are committed to developing solu-
tion and reverse osmosis (RO) pilot plant at KAUST is a great
not just about how much you commit to financially. You need
tions that address the world’s most pressing challenges including
example that ties together both our R&D and commercial
the right people. Dow R&D has an elite, global team of research-
the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and con-
ambitions in the region, in support of regional needs. There
ers concentrating on over 500 major projects at any given time,
servation, and increasing agricultural productivity.
is no one-size-fits-all solution in our business. The plant will
projects that are aimed at addressing human needs. I believe that KAUST can gain from Dow’s vast global R&D resources.
The Middle East is experiencing tremendous social and eco-
be used for application development on the waters of the Red
nomic growth, and we are particularly active in the building and
Sea and Arabian Sea, which are the source of desalinated
construction sector, as well as infrastructure, including water. We
water for most of the Kingdom.
For Dow, when we look at Saudi Arabia and, more broadly the Middle East, we see a wealth of opportunities ahead. One of Dow’s
are committed to offering products with the best sustainability
With KAUST, we are proud to have agreed to three chal-
best practices is to locate industrial R&D facilities at the heart of
profile, even if the related legislation remains in its infancy in the
lenging areas of research collaboration, namely ultrafiltration
each application. Dow’s partnership with KAUST is a commitment
region. Innovation is a cornerstone of Dow’s success anywhere
pre-treatment, RO system integration and wastewater reuse.
to support the Kingdom’s scientific and economic aspirations for
in the world, which is why we’re especially proud to partner with
Each of these projects is aligned with Dow’s commitment to
generations to come. We can benefit not only from having our
KAUST to open Dow’s first Research and Development (R&D)
reduce its own water footprint. We are also aiming to drive
state-of-the-art R&D facilities located at KAUST, but the univer-
Center in the region, starting with water.
a 35% reduction in the cost of water reuse and desalina-
sity’s regional focus, and its educated and passionate talent pool
tion through component technology advances, an objective
Q: Apart from the work in desalination and the commissioning of the pilot desalination plant, how are Dow and
that we believe is aligned with regional governments’ own infrastructure plans.
Ultimately, KAUST was the first significant Dow footprint in the Kingdom. KAUST helped put Saudi Arabia on the Dow map, and
Water Research: Partnering With Industry
KAUST is now a part of Dow’s global R&D footprint. Instead of intro-
in Saudi Arabia. As I mentioned earlier, we just opened an office
ducing technologies from Europe and US into the Middle East, now
in Saudi Arabia. And we recently announced a joint venture with
we will innovate together according to real local market needs and
Saudi Aramco to form the Sadara Chemical Company. It is set to be
future unmet needs.
the largest petrochemical facility ever built in one single phase. The performance products will serve multiple industries, including the
Q: How are Dow employees settling in to the working environment and the community at KAUST? A: Dow and KAUST have been partners for three years now, and
building blocks of the building and construction sector.
our growing team feels right at home, thanks to the welcoming
only is it first Dow RO membrane manufacturing facility planned
community environment fostered by the university. Dow was one
outside the United States, it is also the first ever such facility in the
of the first industrial partners to place people at KAUST, and ensur-
entire Middle East region. It is a testament to our confidence in Saudi
ing that current and future Dow people feel welcome on campus
Arabia’s growth plans, in particular the Kingdom’s move to shift
is essential for success. The university’s values of diversity and
towards sustainable downstream applications. The facility will serve
inclusion are also aligned with Dow’s. It’s wonderful to see a mix
the local market, as well as export markets worldwide. We will also
of Saudi and international students, male and female, fresh gradu-
offer Saudi nationals access to specialized manufacturing jobs, as
ates and experienced professors, on campus.
well as the latest training offerings.
We also announced our intention to invest in an RO facility in Saudi Arabia. The site is expected to be operational by 2015. Not
JEDDAH ARTWORK ILLUSTRATES WATER PRODUCTION HISTORY
We are committed to identifying and connecting with young
joined the Dow family, both in the Kingdom and abroad. We also
Q: If you could look ahead to 2025, how do you hope that KAUST and Dow together will successfully increase the provision of water in the Kingdom? A: Success should be measured in what we have accomplished
firmly believe that Dow’s success in Saudi Arabia is tied to the
together, in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom. One key
development of the young people of Saudi Arabia, and that’s part
measure will be to deliver commercial success through innovation
Condensation was Jeddah’s first technology for purify-
of the reason that we decided to invest in KAUST. Developing local
in the sustainability arena in the Kingdom by shifting to cleaner
ing saltwater. Two British-built condensers provided drinking
talent in cooperation with academia is not just about being good
energy and water treatment technologies. We envision that in the
water for the residents of the city during the first half of the
citizens, but it is about maximizing our success over the long-term,
future, resources like water will be readily available to anyone in a
20th century. The roar of the ‘Lancashire boilers’ was con-
and educating future regional leaders.
sustainable manner. Waterborne coatings will become a standard
siderable as is evident in a local poet’s wish: “Save us from
in the building and construction industry, and solar will become a
the clamour of the kindasah.” The technique was
real source of energy for the Kingdom.
eventually replaced by a pipeline from the wells
men and women who are equally committed to supporting the Kingdom’s scientific and economic aspirations. Since we partnered with KAUST, we’ve identified talented new employees who’ve
THE city of Jeddah is known for the sculptures along its roads, especially on the roundabouts. But did you know that some of them reveal actual history, like the rusty metal condensers on Al-Tahlia Street?
Q: What are Dow’s hopes and aspirations for economic development in the Kingdom? A: From our perspective, Saudi Arabia is a significant market for
set ourselves a stringent set of 2015 sustainability goals. Sustainability
The condenser sculptures are constructed
Sustainability is at the heart of Dow’s mission and vision. We have
of Wadi Fatimah.
Dow solutions. From desalination to construction to home and per-
is not an abstract concept, but derives real meaning from a complex
from scrap metal from the original units. They
sonal care, we see tremendous business opportunity in the Kingdom.
combination of breakthroughs and incremental improvements with
are the creation of the Spanish artist Julio
In terms of the business opportunities for DW&PS, Saudi Arabia is
the contribution of many different disciplines. The approaches we
Lafuente who is also the person behind the
the largest desalination market in the world. We see an attractive
have taken, combining collaborative innovation and a challenge-
Mameluke Mosque Lanterns, the Verse Boat,
market for our complete solutions portfolio, be it seawater desali-
based approach, in concert with the outstanding combination of
the Illuminated Globe, and various other art-
nation or water reuse.
interdisciplinary skills coming together at KAUST provide ideal con-
works throughout Jeddah.
In the past year, Dow has made several strategic investments
ditions for long-term sustainable growth.
Other features associated with water technology include the Desalination Pipes by Mustafa
IBM PARTNERSHIPS COME ONLINE
Prof. Nunes develops new polymeric materials using self-
Senbel. The form of Desalination Pipes I is
assembly in solution to tune nanoporous structures. Her work is
inspired by the minarets of the great mosque
accelerated by the core laboratory support, which distinguishes
of Samarra in Iraq. Today, there are more than
the University. New membranes are imaged in the Imaging and
thirty desalination plants in the Kingdom.
PROFESSOR Suzana Nunes’ enthusiasm for her research area was
Characterization Lab while in the Visualization Core Lab, new
evident when she spoke to The Beacon last month. The Associate
materials can be seen layer by layer in three dimensions in differ-
Professor of Chemical and Life Science and Engineering is work-
ent scales allowing, for example, their porosity to be quantified.
ing on new polymers and organic-inorganic hybrid materials for
Membranes feature large in work with water where they
membranes aiming at applications such as high performance
have been used for the filtration of organic pollutants and
and high stability polymeric membranes for membrane distilla-
Prof. Nunes is particularly interested in the growing need to
tion and catalysis, nanofiltration and desalination.
filter out endocrine disruptors. These are synthetic chemicals
At the University since 2009, Prof. Nunes is typical of the
that can potentially interfere with the hormone system, rang-
“world citizen” attracted to KAUST. Of Portuguese/Spanish fam-
ing from those used in fertilizers and in the plastics industry to
ily, she was born and raised in Brazil, completing her studies
the growth hormones common in beef and dairy farming and
there before going to Germany as a Humboldt fellow, where she
the oral contraceptive pill-taken by over 100 million women
spent many years working. She combines an active teaching
worldwide. Current membranes are unable to separate such sub-
role with her research, is co-editor of several books, and cur-
stances and Prof. Nunes looks to nanofiltration technology as
rently has a dozen patent applications.
a future solution. Prof. Nunes has another fast-moving desa-
KAUST-IBM APPROVED PROJECTS (2012-2013) TITLE Earthquake Rupture Dynamics using SeisSol and SORD: A Comparative Study Parallel Multiscale Simulation of Multicomponent Multiphase Flow: From Darcy Scale to Molecular Scale Smart Heterogeneous Cloud (SHCloud): The case of Graph Mining as a Service (GMaaS) LIQUIDx-An Elasticity Framework for High Performance Computing Clouds TTI RTM on Shaheen
linization project with colleagues of the WDRC
to produce a hydrophobic membrane to cover
Professor Nunes’ is one of ten new KAUST research projects (see
large areas of very concentrated saltwater. The
table on left) that were launched in January 2012 jointly with IBM
membrane is similar to the Gore-Tex coats worn
under the Office of Competitive Research Funds (OCRF). The oppor-
by walkers, which is waterproof, but allows
tunity aims to support KAUST faculty to engage with counterparts
sweat to evaporate through its pores. As the sun
from one of the University’s key industrial partners while building
heats the brine, water would evaporate through
on KAUST’s three-year partnership with IBM.
Panos Kalnis Xiangliang Zhang Gerard Schuster
Hani Jamjoom Hani Jamjoom
the membrane, to be condensed and collected
These projects facilitate the sharing of resources toward a common
using minimal energy. Prof. Nunes sees this as
research goal, fostering the exchange of knowledge and expertise
an adjunct process to reverse osmosis.
between IBM and KAUST faculty, research scientists, students and post-
Real-Time Visualization of Interfacial Reactions in Electrochemical Energy Storage Devices Using Liquid Cell
“It is very special to live and teach at a multicultural university like KAUST. Particularly attractive is to be able to explore interdisciplinarity of research and to develop materials, which could contribute to solving issues related to water scarcity and reuse,” Prof. Nunes told The Beacon.
Prof. Nunes is delighted to have begun work
doctoral fellows. The opportunity will help build sustained engagement
on a new KAUST research project funded jointly
through critical access to complementary research resources, including
Simulation of Pore Formation in Membranes by Self-Assembly
by IBM, which focuses on fundamental research
laboratory facilities and training programs, fostering growth in spe-
Advanced Spintronics Nanomaterials and Devices
around molecular modeling where they have
cific fields, to support and strengthen ongoing industrial-university
particular expertise. This is just one of several
partnerships in computational and non-computational applications.
Novel Silicon-based SoP Incorporating RFICs with Integrated Antennas for mmWave and THz Applications Sensing and modeling complex surfaces and subsurfaces of nanoscale systems
Atif Shamim Udo Schwingenschlogl
Duixian Liu Barbara Jones
ongoing external collaborations; others include Cornell University and Texas A&M.
The projects are made possible through a combination of funding from KAUST OCRF, KAUST faculty and IBM PIs.
PHOTO BY LUIS LUJÁN
FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER
STUDENTS at The KAUST School celebrated the diversity of the community for a whole week in February. With over 90 nationalities represented in the school, the children enjoyed traditional dances, food and music, studied each other’s cultural background, and wore their national dress and colors. The week culminated with a parade where the young KAUSTians along with other community members waved their flags under
MASTER’S student Luis Luján took this photo at Discovery
except for the golf course that is irri-
Square, awed by the early morning rays of sunlight calling
gated by treated wastewater.
attention to the sometimes unseen work that keeps our campus as beautiful as it is.
Would you like to see your photo
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
published in The Beacon? Every month we
About 75 percent of the production of KAUST’s desalination
carefully review submissions and choose the one that best
plant is used for irrigation while the rest goes to domestic use.
captures our attention. Keep them coming! Email your photos to
The plants “drink” the same water as we community members,
the Saudi sun. The children’s natural attitude towards international mindedness was put into words by student speaker Abril Rivera, age 11: “I was born in the USA. My mom is Mexican. And my dad is Indonesian. My friends are from Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, France, Pakistan, and on and on. I appreciate food from all parts of the world and I like to try new things. I respect all cultures, traditions and beliefs, because I am open-minded.”
of years to biodegrade with some end-
The sea water reverse osmosis allows 40
states Professor Gary Amy, Director of
ing up in the sea where they kill marine
percent of the water to be used while the
the Water Desalination and Reuse Center.
animals and sea birds. The group stresses
remaining 60 percent is returned to the
According to him, there is no need for
the importance of regular and detailed
sea. With the less salty brackish water the
people at KAUST to purchase water bot-
public water reports of KAUST tap water.
recovery percentage is as high as 90.
tles from the store as the quality of the
“People want to be reassured of the qual-
The average domestic water use in the
tap water is the same. In fact, he thinks
ity of the water,” says Rachel Weitzman
KAUST community is about 190 liters (50
water bottles should be surcharged or
Yeh, the founder and president of the group.
gallons) per person per day. That includes
even banned as they already are in the
Some have noticed an occasional hint of
water used for bathing, washing, cook-
city of San Francisco and on numer-
chlorine in the water and others wonder if
ing, and drinking. It is a little less than the
ous university campuses, particularly in
the water quality is the same in all parts of
municipal water withdrawal per capita in
the distribution system.
Saudi Arabia in general.
“I drink the water right out of the faucet” - Professor Gary Amy The Green Group at KAUST, a selfdirected group promoting eco-friendly
“The six parameters monitored in the
Saudi Arabia is among the top consum-
potable water network are quite close to
ing countries of bottled water, with 95 liters
the plant’s output product,” states chem-
per person per year used in 2010. The Green
ical engineer Paterno Victorino from
Group encourages people to use their own
KAUST Utilities. “Chlorine is checked
reusable bottles and mugs.
every two hours and adjusted if needed.”
living, feels the same way. According
The tap water comes from KAUST’s very
to them, 60,000 single-use disposable
own desalination plant situated in the
drinking bottles are used monthly at the
Central Utility Plants area. Piped in from
Campus Diner alone. In addition to the
about 1.5 km offshore, the raw sea water
bottle manufacturing process requiring a
goes through two purification stages before
lot of oil, the plastic items take thousands
being desalinated using reverse osmosis.
See the documentary film Tapped on Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Student Center. Free admission! www.tappedthemovie.com Check out the latest Health and Safety bulletin about drinking water quality: http://thelens.kaust.edu.sa/?p=533
ISLAM AND THE BLESSINGS OF WATER THE importance of water and its sources has held a special place in
Recycled wastewater fulfills all the requirements of tahoor water as
Islam since the faith’s founding over 14 centuries ago, and there are
confirned by religious scholars over 30 years ago. It is not accept-
a number of references to it in the Holy Quran as well in the tradi-
able for a Muslim to misuse water in any way. The Prophet exhorts
tions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Muslims “Don’t waste water even if you are standing on the bank
Water is regarded as a basic element in Islamic Shari’ah, especially
of a running river”. This call not to squander this resource, crucial
where it relates to purity, cleanliness and ablution; water is tanta-
for nourishing all living things, is part of the Islamic teaching aimed
mount to a life-giving artery, which must therefore be conserved.
PHOTOS BY VINCENT GUILLERM & ELINA NIEMI
TAP THE TAP WATER!
“I drink the water right out of the faucet,”
املنارة King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
at Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
March 2012 / Rabi Al-Thani 1433 Volume 2, Issue No.7
تاريخ تطور إنتاج املياه يف اململكة
جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية تدعم املسعى باحللول املستدامة
فريق األحباث يف جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية مع خارطة العامل موضح ًة البلد األم لكل منهم.
مبا أن املاء ضرورة من ضرورات احلياة ،فان مركز حتلية املياه وإعادة إستخدامها التابع للجامعة ال يكمن نشاطه فقط يف حتلية املياه وإعادة استخدامها ولكن يسهم أيضا يف املجاالت احليوية الثالثة األخرى وهي الطاقة والغذاء والبيئة. إن إنتاج املياه بإستخدام أساليب التحلية اليت تستهلك الطاقة بشراهة هي عملية باهظة التكاليف إذ تصل تكلفة حتلية املرت املكعب من مياه البحر إىل دوالر أمريكي واحد وتستهلك طاقة تتجاوز تكلفة اإلنتاج من مشاريع املياه اجلوفية بأكثر من مثانية أضعاف. والطبقات احلاملة للمياه اجلوفية اليت توفر حاليا 80٪من إمدادات املياه يف اململكة مت إستهالكها بسرعة جراء النمو املضطرد يف عدد السكان والتوسع احلضري .ويتوقع أن تستمر ملدة 20-15عاما .وبالتزامن مع أحباث املركز الشاملة حول عمليات التحلية منخفضة التكاليف واملقبولة بيئيا، يركز مدير املركز قاري آمي على تقنيات املياه املبتكرة املتنوعة ملساندة اإلدارة املتكاملة واملستدامة للثروات املائية يف اململكة باسلوب يتناغم مع رؤية اجلامعة. وقد نشرت مطبوعة “املنارة” مؤخرا العديد من املقاالت اليت تطرقت إىل
موضوع حتلية املياه وستربز يف هذا العدد اخلاص كيفية املحافظة على املياه. واملواضيع املنشورة حول تقنية األغشية (اليت تعترب جزءا جوهريا يف العديد من العمليات) والزراعة الصحراوية وعمل النماذج املناخية واهلندسة اجليولوجية تعكس األسلوب متعدد التخصصات الذي تنتهجه اجلامعة يف أحباثها. ويؤكد الربوفسور آمي بأنه يتعذر تطبيق التقنيات والسياسات واإلسرتاتيجيات الفعالة من أجل حتقيق األهداف املطلوبة لسد الطلب املستقبلي على املياه يف اململكة بدون تبين نظرة شاملة. والآلفت لإلنتباه أن 90٪من مياه الصرف الصحي ال تستخدم يف هذه األرض الصحراوية على الرغم من أن كثري من اجلهات تسعى اىل التوسع يف إعادة إستخدام املياه حبلول العام .2025 ويرى الربوفسور آمي ضرورة إدارة مياه الصرف الصحي حمليا يف منشآت وحمطات املعاجلة يف املناطق القروية واملدن الصغرية واستخدامها لتلبية إحتياجات خمتلف القطاعات. ومع إدراكها التام ملسؤليتها جتاه منطقة الشرق األوسط ،ستشارك اجلامعة يف ورشة عمل يف مدينة مسقط ،سلطنة عمان ،بتاريخ 12أبريل حتت عنوان “دفع إستخدام املاء يف منطقة دول جملس التعاون اخلليجي إىل األمام”. وستتوج ورشة العمل بنقاش حول التشكيل املحتمللفريق يتوىل البحث يف إعادة إستخدام املياهo .
دراسات املناخ تساعد على التنبؤ بالكوارث الطبيعية يرى الربوفسور جيورجي ستينجيكوف ،أستاذ كرسي برنامج علوم األرض يف قسم علوم الفيزياء واهلندسة يف جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية ،يف حديث لصحيفة “املنارة” أن العمل مع العامل احلقيقي يف غاية الصعوبة ولذلك يتم تفضيل العمل مع النماذج. وقال بأن إرتفاع جبال احلجاز تسمح للتيارات اهلوائية الدافئة واليت تأيت من البحر األمحر سيؤدي بصورة شبه مؤكدة إىل سقوط األمطار غري أن ذلك الوضع سيؤدي لألسف ،وبسبب طريقة تصريف املياه عرب الوديان ،إىل حدوث فيضانات وسيول جارفة يف األراضي املنخفضة أما يف حالة إنفجار بركان حبجم بركان بيناتوبو فهو يتوقع أن درجات احلرارة يف املنطقة ستنخفض بنحو درجتني إىل ثالث درجات ألن اجلزيئيات الدقيقة الناجتة يف الغالف اجلوي على إرتفاع 25كيلومرتا فوق سطح األرض ستعكس أشعة الشمس كما حدث عند إنفجار الربكان يف عام .1991ويرى الربوفيسور ستينجيكوف ان النماذج توضح أن اإلشعاع الشمسي اهلابط قد يؤدي إىل رفع دفء البحر األمحر بعدة درجات مع التأثري اهلائل الناتج على األنظمة البيئية.
قبل العام ،1932كان السكان البدو يف رقعة األرض اليت أصبحت فيما بعد اململكة العربية السعودية يتنقلون حبثا عن الطعام واملاء. تظل اململكة واحدة من أكثر دول العامل جفافا فيما تضاعف عدد سكانها ومن يتوقع ان يصل إىل 40 مليون يف العام 2025وإىل 60مليون يف العام .2060 واعتماد اململكة على حتلية املياه يظهر بوضوح تام يف طاقة إنتاجها اإلستثنائية البالغة 30٪من اإلنتاج العاملي علما أنها باهضة التكاليف . والالفت للنظر أن املياه غري املحالة تشكل 6٪ فقط من إمجاىل إستهالك املياه السنوي و80٪ منها يأيت من مكامن جوفية و 14٪من موارد مائية متجددة مثل املياه السطحية .ومعظم األمطار السنوية تقريبا تهطل يف جبال املنطقة اجلنوبية وتقل يف باقي املناطق .ويف الوقت احلاضر ال يتم إعادة إستخدام سوى 9٪من مياه الصرف الصحي البلدية ومن املتوقع أن يرتفع هذا املعدل بنحو 800٪ عندم تصبح اململكة ثالث أكرب دولة يف سوق إعادة إستخدام املياه بعد الصني والواليات املتحدة حبلول العام .2016 وبسبب النمو املضطرد يف عدد السكان إرتفعت مياه الصرف الصحي إىل 6.67مليون مرت مكعب ،يف اليوم يتم معاجلة 33٪منها ويتم إعادة إستخدام 21٪من تلك املياه املعاجلة مما جيعل فرصة إعادة اإلستخدام يف املستقبل هائلة .ويف العام ،2008 أنشئت شركة املياه الوطنية مبوجب مرسوم ملكي بهدف إعادة هيكلة خدمات مياه الشرب والصرف الصحي وفقا للمقاييس العاملية من خالل شراكات مع القطاع اخلاص على مستوى العامل. ومن خالل استخدام املنشآت اليت تعمل آليا مع املفاعالت احليوية اليت تستخدم األنسجة اهلجني، ميكن حتسني ورفع جودة املاء املنتج. وتشمل مرافق التخزين وعمليات املعاجلة البديلة نظم إعادة تعبئة املياه املعاجلة واستخالصها اليت ميكن دجمها يف األودية يف أو بالقرب من املدن ،ففي مدينة الرياض جيرى إستخدام 450000مرت مكعب من مياه الصرف الصحي املعاجلة يوميا يف مشروع األرض الرطبة يف وادي حنيفة الذي حصل على اجلائزة الدولية للعمارة اإلسالمية .ويستخدم الوادي األخضر الناتج عن إستخدام املياه املعاجلة ألغراض الرتفيه، مبا يف ذلك صيد األمساك والرحالت ،كما جيتذب املشروع الطيور املهاجرة وزيادة إنتاج املزارعني املحليني من إنتاج التمور .وإضافة إىل ذلك تساعد تلك املياه يف ري احلدائق العامةo .
ويتعاون الربوفسور ستينجيكوف وفريقه الدوىل مع بقية األقسام باجلامعة وأقسام دولية ذات عالقة لتقصي األسباب العضوية للمناخ املحلي واملساعدة يف التنبؤ بالتغيريات املناخية املستقبلية من أجل إنتاج مناذج عالية الوضوح للمناخ حيث يأمل الفريق يف أن يتمكن من التنبؤ باألوضاع املناخية حىت العام .2050 والربوفسور ستينجيكوف يتمىن يف حتقيق إمكانية إحتواء املياه وإستخدامها من خالل التنبؤ األكثر دقة مبعدالت هطول األمطار األكثر شدة ،ويرى أن مشاكل موارد املياه يف اململكة ال تتعلق فقط مبعدالت سقوط األمطار ولكن أيضا بوجود ظواهر جيولوجية تتصل بنضوب املياه اجلوفية. ويقول أن معدالت العواصف الرملية يف إرتفاع متواصل مما يؤثر على الرؤية وصحة البشر حيث يوجد الغبار يف الغالف اجلوي على إرتفاع يصل إىل 5كيلومرتات فوق اململكة وذلك ال يعد سيئا بالضرورة إذ أنه من أجل سقوط األمطار يلزم كمية أقل بكثري من التشبع يف اجلو املغرب مما هو يف اجلو النظيف ليساعد على تشكل السحب. ويؤكد الربوفسور ستينجيكوف أن جامعة امللك عبداهلل هي املكان األمثل للعمل بتشجيعها وتسهيلها لألحباث متعددة التخصصات وميكن فيها اج��مع بني عدة علوم إلجناح هذا املجهودo .
عادل بشناق ووليد عبدالرمحن يتحدثان عن تعاون شركتيهما مع مركز أحباث حتلية املياه
جامعة امللك عبداهلل جسر جمتمع اململكة إلنتاج املعرفة بدل استهالكها أبدى الدكتور عادل بشناق ،رئيس جمموعة وأكادميية البشناق ،سعادته الغامرة بربامج جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية ومبادراتها الرائدة داعيا اهلل أن يوفق خرجييها والعاملني فيها والقائمني عليها لتظل اجلسر العريض لعبور جمتمع اململكة إىل اقتصاد املعرفة واملساهمة الفاعلة ىف إعمار االرض وحتقيق االزدهار والتنمية املستدامة .جاء ذلك يف لقاء أجرته معه “املنارة” وحتدث فيه عن التعاون بني جمموعة البشناق وبني اجلامعة
اإلبداع املفتوح وقال بشناق إن التعاون القائم حاليًا بني الطرفني يركز ال الربط بني اجلامعة واجلهات على ثالثة حماور هي :أو ً املعنية لتيسسر وتسريع آليات وبرامج إعادة استخدام املياه املعاجلة حسب توصيات الدراسة الىت قامت بها اجلامعة ىف عام 2011ىف هذا الصدد ،مث مساعدة اجلامعة لتأسيس معهد أمن املاء والغذاء ليكون مركزا عامليا للدراسات االسرتاتيجية بشان استدامة املصادر الطبيعية للمياه وإنتاج الغذاء الالزم حمليا بالتعاون مع د .وليد عبدالرمحن ،والبدء ببناء مزرعة جتارب منوذجية ىف اجلامعة باستخدام املياه املاحلة وطاقة الرياح والشمس بالتعاون مع املهندس نصار مدهون، وثالث هذه املحاور هو تيسري التواصل والعمل اجلماعى مع رجال األعمال ومراكز البحوث املهتمني بتقنيات املياه والطاقة املتجددة والزراعة الصحراوية من خالل برامج مشرتكة عرب املنتدى السعودى للمياه والطاقة الذى يعقد سنويا ومبادرة مؤسسة التحلية لتوحيد اجلهود البحثية وغري ذلك. وأكد د.بشناق أن هناك أيضا اهتمامًا مشرتكًا بإنشاء بوابات الكرتونية للمعرفة واإلبداع ىف جماالت متخصصة مثل حتلية املياه وتقنيات املاء والغذاء لتيسري التعاون واإلبداع وطلب العلم عن بعد وهذا اليزال ىف مرحلة التاسيس. ووصف بشناق جتربة مركز أحباث حتلية املياه يف جامعة امللك عبداهلل بأنها جتربة جيدة وجهود حثيثة لربط املركز مع مراكز البحوث العاملية املماثلة ومراكز البحوث السعودية والتواجد الفعال ىف املحافل العاملية.
السياسات الصحيحة ويرى بشناق بأن وضع املياه يف العامل من أصعب األوضاع اليت متس حياة البشر ألن احللول والسياسات احلالية غري مستدامة وتركز على زيادة اإلنتاج باستخدام مصادر الوقود التقليدية ىف حمطات التحلية وليس على ماجيب أن يكون من إدارة الطلب على املياه. ويصف بأن احباث حتديات التحلية باالهداف الوطنية لتنقل اململكة إىل الريادة العاملية ىف إنتاج املعرفة ىف هذا املجال االسرتاتيجى ألمن ورفاهية املجتمع وليس فقط ىف اإلستهالك وأرجو أن حتمل مؤسسة التحلية الريادة الوطنية ىف هذا الصدد.
الدكتور عادل بشناق
حل املشاكل الصناعية من جهته أشاد الربوفيسور وليد عبدالرمحن رئيس جملس إدارة شركة (مياهنا) بالتعاون القائم بني جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية والقطاع اخلاص بصورة عامة والذي يتمثل يف برنامج التعاون الصناعي الذي يعىن باألنشطة الصناعية العلمية يف اجلامعة. وقال الربوفيسور وليد إن شركته تستفيد من اإلمكانيات البحثية الكبرية للجامعة واليت تساعد يف تطوير معاجلة الصرف الصحي وصناعة مياه التحلية وإعادة استخدامها من خالل (مركز أحباث التحلية وإعادة استخدام املياه ) الذي يضم كفاءات بشرية متميزة وعلماء دوليني يتمتعون خبربات عالية وهلم مكانتهم فضال عن املعدات التقنية احلديثة املستخدمة يف معامل املركز. وأوضح أن العضوية اليت تتمتع بها شركة (مياهنا) يف برنامج التعاون الصناعي مع جامعة امللك عبداهلل تساعد إىل جانب اخلربات املتوفرة يف حل املشاكل الصناعية اليت قد تعيق إجناز مشاريع املياه ،وكذلك اإلسهام يف تدريب الطالب عمليا كي يكون هناك خمرجات ذات كفاءات عالية ومتمكنة من الباحثني. وشدد الربوفيسور وليد عبدالرمحن على الدور الريادي والقيادي جلامعة امللك عبداهلل على مستوى العامل ملا تقوم به من أحباث ودراسات بتقنيات متطورة جدًا يف جمال معاجلة املياه يف جو أكادميي مثايل وفريد من اطلع على عدد من األحباث ،ومتفائل نوعه ،مؤكدًا أنه ّ بنتائجها األولية املطمئنة واليت سوف يكون هلا األثر الكبري ملواجهة حتديات معاجلة مشكالت املياه يف اململكة واخلليج ويف مجيع املناطق اجلافة يف العامل كذلك ،مبا سيساعد بفعالية على خفض نفقات معاجلة مياه الصرف الصحي وزيادة كفاءة االستخدام.
مشكلة األمن الغذائي يف األراضي اجلافة يشكل األمن الغذائي يف العامل الذي يعاين من زيادة يف عدد السكان وندرة متنامية يف املوارد مصدرا رئيسيا للقلق. وتتضافر جهود العلوم املختلفة لصد التحدي الثنائي املتمثل يف زيادة االنتاج الزراعي والتطوير املزدوج يف البيئات الصحراوية .وجتد جامعة امللك عبداهلل للعلوم والتقنية نفسها يف وضع يتيح هلا أن تكون العبا رئيسيا يف جمال أحباث املاء والغذاء. وبفضل إستثماراتها الضخمة يف تقنيات الطاقة البديلة واألغشية والتحلية والبيولوجيا احلاسوبية وفيزيولوجية إجهاد النبات ،تقوم اجلامعة بتسخري مواردها متعددة التخصصات لتلبية ليس فقط حاجة اململكة بل إحتياجات املجتمع العاملي ككل يف عامل تأخذ فيه درجات احلرارة واجلفاف باإلرتفاع مقرونة باإلزدحام بالسكان. وهناك عدة طرق ملعاجلة صعوبات الزراعة الصحراوية ،أحدها األرض اليت ال تعترب صاحلة للزراعة ميكن إستصالحها لتصبح منتجة من خالل نشر أساليب التحلية منخفضة التكاليف ونظم الري احلكيمة، والطريقة األخرى هي إن املحاصيل اليت تنمو يف تلك األرض ميكن تهيئتها حبيث تتحمل املياه املاحلة الناجتة عن عملية التحلية اجلزئية. وسعيا وراء اإلستفادة من تهيئة بعض النباتات يقوم الباحثون يف جامعة امللك عبد اهلل بتطوير سلسلة من األدوات الدقيقة والفعالة لتحوير اجلينات اجلزيئية تناسب كال من املحاصيل احلالية واملحاصيل أليفة امللح باإلضافة إىل البحث يف العديد من األفكار األخرى لدعم النباتات اليت تتحمل امللوحة من أجل احلصول على اإلنتاج األمثل واملستدام للغذاءo .
األراضي الرطبة املشيدة وإعادة شحن تعبيئة األحواض اجلوفية للطالب محادات يتناول طالب الدكتوراه األردين أمحد محادات يف أحباثه مفهومي “األرض الرطبة املشيدة” و”إعادة شحن وتعبئة األحواض اجلوفية”. واألراضي املشيدة هي يف الواقع نظام بيئي صغري يتألف من أحواض ضحلة (عمقها مرت واحد) ويتم حتديد حجمها تبعا إلحتياجات األشخاص الذين ختدمهم .وميكن تعبئة هذه األحواض باحلصى والرتبة لزيادة مساحتها السطحية بهدف املساعدة يف منو الكائنات الدقيقة الضرورية إلزالة خمتلف امللوثات وتزرع حواف األحواض بالنباتات املناسبة أونباتات طافية بهدف التحسني األمثل لعملية املعاجلة. وتسمح األحواض بتسرب املياه وتغلغلها إىل داخل الرتبة املحيطة .وهذه النظم اليت تتميز باخنفاض حاجتها من الطاقة وخلوها من املواد الكيميائية ملعاجلة مياه الصرف الصحي إضافة إىل قدرتها التنافسية وطبيعتها املستدامة .وفضال عن ذلك تسهل إدارتها كما أنها حتد من املخاطر البيئية الناجتة عن التسرب يف الطرق األكثر تقليدية. ويشعر محادات بالفخر الشديد الختياره لتقدمي ورقة تتناول أحباثه يف املؤمتر الدويل التاسع لألراضي الرطبة املشيدة الذي سيعقد يف الواليات املتحدة يف شهر يونيو القادمo .
األعمال الفنية يف جدة تسرد تاريخ إنتاج املياه يف اململكة
األمن املائي والغذائي وأثىن الربوفيسور وليد عبدالرمحن على إدارة اجلامعة وتعاونها املرن حيث سبق وأن زار جامعة امللك عبداهلل عدة مرات والتقى خالل تلك الزيارات باملسؤولني والباحثني يف مركز أحباث حتلية وإعادة إستخدام املياه، وألقى حماضرة علمية عن األمن املائي يف اململكة وتناول فيها حتديات املياه من النواحي التقنية والعلمية وما الذي ممكن أن يواجهنا يف اململكة ومنطقة اخلليج. كما تطرق إىل التعاون القائم مع جامعة امللك عبداهلل بشأن معاجلة مياه الصرف الصحي وإعادة استخدامها يف حمافظة جدة إضافة إىل اإلجتماعات اليت متت من أجل اإلسهام يف الدور الذي يقوم به مركز ( الزراعة امللحية ) باجلامعة على أساس أن تتم مساعدتهم يف التعرف على ما هو موجود من حبوث ودراسات يف خمتلف مناطق اململكة يف هذا اخلصوص . ولفت الربوفيسور وليد النظر إىل أن جامعة امللك عبداهلل أسست جللب اخلربات العاملية والتواصل مع العلماء يف خمتلف دول العامل لتكون نقطة انطالق وتواصل مع العامل ،والعمل على وضع احللول للتحدي املائي والغذائي وأن التحدي الذي يواجهنا يزداد مع ازدياد عدد السكان خالل السنوات القادمة ،ولذلك ال بد من وضع الربامج العلمية ذات احللول الفاعلة لتحقيق األمن املائي والغذائي لألجيال القادمةo .
تشتهر مدينة جدة بوفرة املجسمات واملنحوتات على إمتداد طرقها وشوارعها وال سيما يف امليادين املنظمة حلركة السيارات .ولكن هل كنت تعرف أن بعض هذه املجسمات ،مثل مكثفات املاء املعدنية الصدئة يف شارع التحلية ،تعكس التاريخ الفعلي لتطور حتلية املياه يف اململكة؟ تعترب عملية التكثيف هذه أول تقنية يف جدة ملعاجلة املياه املاحلة .ومت تأمني جهاز تكثيف مياه الشرب لسكان املدينة من بريطانيا خالل النصف األول من القرن العشرين .وكان صوت هذه املراجل املصنوعة يف النكشري مصدر إزعاج للناس حيث مت إستبدال تلك التقنية خبط أنابيب وادي فاطمة. وقد مت تصنيع املجسمات من احلديد اخلردة املأخوذ من الوحدات األصلية وقام بعملها الفنان األسباين خوليو الفوينت وهو أيضا الفنان وراء جمسمات” فوانيس املسجد اململوكي” و” قارب اآلية القرآنية” و” الكرة األرضية املضاءة” وغريها من األعمال الفنية يف مجيع أحناء مدينة جدة. واملظاهر األخرى املتعلقة بتقنية املياه تشمل جمسم خطوط أنابيب التحلية من عمل الفنان مصطفى سنبل الذي إستوحاه من املسجد الكبري يف مسارا يف العراق .وتوجد اليوم أكثر من ثالثني منشأة لتحلية املياه يف اململكةo .