The International Desalination Association released details on 19 January 2012 of the Program Highlights of the Desalination and Sustainability conference which will take place on 1-2 March 2012 in Casablanca, Morocco.

IDA will partner with Societé Marocaine des Membranes et de Dessalement (SMMD) and the National Office of Drinking Water (ONEP) for this symposium, with several ministries lending their support, in addition to the European Desalination Society, which pioneered desalination events in Morocco.

The program is chaired by D&WR editorial board member Miguel Angel Sanz for IDA together with Azzedine Elmidaoui and Mahmoud Hafsi from SMMD.

The three main sessions will be:

Session I- Desalination Experience in Maghreb
The first session will cover water plans developed by the various Moroccan Ministries as well as the desalination experiences of ONEP and Office Chérifien des Phosphates. This session will examine the crucial role that desalinated water plays in the development of specific areas as well as its use in the mining industry and in agriculture. The experiences and plans of neighbouring countries will be also reviewed in this section.

Session II- Desalination: Design and Operations
The second session will focus on the state of the art in desalination technology as well as future trends. Presentations will cover the main components of a membrane desalination plant: intake and discharges, pretreatment, membranes, energy recovery and efficiency, use of chemicals, and renewable energies. The presentations will show operational results and new improvements.

Session III- International Experiences, Financing and Cost
Since Morocco has decided to launch components of its desalination plants as build- operate-transfer contracts, this last session will discuss financing and costs of desalination plants. It will also include a review of international experiences in the Mediterranean area and MENA region. These presentations will furnish attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and solutions associated with implementing various desalination plants along with an overview of financing strategies and water costs.