Qatar initiative seeks sustainable water and energy

An initiative to help bring sustainability to Qatar’s water and energy, which will include improved technologies for desalination, efficient reuse and zero-liquid discharge systems, was launched by Texas A&M University at Qatar on 1 February 2010.

Under the patronage of the deputy prime minister and minister of energy and industry, Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyeh, the Qatar Sustainable Water and Energy Utilization Initiative (QWE) will build upon the expertise available at the university and be focused through ongoing discussions with appropriate governmental agencies and industries.

The initiative will be led by Dr Patrick Linke and Dr Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, two chemical engineering professors at Texas A&M at Qatar. It will work towards developing the scientific and technical base required to achieve the sustainable utilization of water and energy resources in the State of Qatar.

To ensure QWE’s activities are supporting national needs, the project will be advised by a board with key representatives from Qatari authorities including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture, the General Secretariat for Development Planning, Mesaieed Industrial City, Kahramaa and Qatar Petroleum.

The objectives of QWE are not merely technical. A prime motive is to support public awareness campaigns ranging from activities for school children to collaborations with the media. The proponents also will build up human resource capacity in Qatar through activities ranging from project-based training of engineering students to advanced training workshops in leading technologies and methods for practicing engineers

QWE will deliver technical solutions to the problems of national importance and provide the scientific and technological support for constructive policy decisions on water resources and usage.

The technical areas of QWE are:

  • Environmental impact assessment of water and energy utilization,
  • Minimization of water consumption and discharge,
  • Maximization of industrial energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, improved technologies for desalination,
  • Tailored water treatment systems for efficient water and wastewater management,
  • Hazardous waste management,
  • Systems design and optimization for maximum economic and environmental performance,
  • Efficient reuse and recycling strategies,
  • Zero liquid discharge systems, and
  • Effective integration of water and energy systems.
  • The QWE laboratory will make use of state-of-the-art experimental and analytical techniques as well as advanced computer-aided technologies.