Ashghal and KAHRAMAA among Qatari and international stakeholders exploring productive cooperation
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently held a workshop to explore how digitalization is transforming Qatar’s water sector and to identify opportunities for trans-sector collaborations.
The “Water Sector Digitalization” workshop took place at the Education City Golf Course, with participation from international and Qatari stakeholders. Organized by QEERI’s Water Center, the forum highlighted how water sector digitalization - which focuses on integrating the spectrum of digital solutions and technologies into Qatar’s water management system - is increasingly a core component for development as the nation moves towards building smart cities for the future.
Representatives from key entities, including KAHRAMAA, Ashghal, Suez Water Technologies and Solutions, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Acciona, and Idrica (Aguas de Valencia) shared expertise at the event.
Speakers discussed various avenues to make the water sector more efficient - both at a national and a global level - particularly in the face of increasing global pressures. These include climate change, evolving environmental legislation, and more pressure on water resources. Topics covered during the workshop sessions were the circular water economy, the role of various stakeholders in the advanced management of the distribution network, artificial intelligence-based solutions, data sharing, and many others.
In her presentation, Eng. Muneera Rashid D H Al-Dosari, from the Drainage Networks Operations and Maintenance Department, Ashghal, talked about the smart systems, solutions and latest digital technologies used to control and monitor Ashghal’s assets. She said: “It is important that the various parties involved in the water sector in Qatar come together to understand the work that we are doing, and to build synergies and collaborations. The workshop was a great platform to meet colleagues in the field – from the research, industry, and utilities side of it. We look forward to building productive partnerships, to enhance Qatar’s water sector.”
After the workshop, Dr. Jenny Lawler, Senior Research Director, Water Center, QEERI, said: “As we transition towards building a smart and sustainable water sector, big data and improved processes can have a huge impact on efficiency. We, at QEERI, are delighted to have led this conversation on the digital water sector in Qatar, with a number of leading stakeholders.”
Christian Pérez Hernández, Technical Manager at Idrica, added: “One of the key challenges we will face includes resistance to change, and through knowledge-sharing, such events help us all understand the best way forward. Together, we can address questions like what is going to happen, and why it is important, and how data can be converted into actionable information, thus combining our efforts to build a sustainable future.”
QEERI’s Executive Director, Dr. Marc Vermeersch, commented: “In order to provide tangible solutions to Qatar’s grand challenges related to water, it is absolutely crucial that we bring all the players to the table, and understand what each of us can contribute. Moving forward into the digital era, we need to develop solutions to emerging challenges that we have not faced before, and this requires collaboration, coordination, and a unified approach. We are grateful to all of our partners who participated and contributed to the discussion.”
QEERI’s Water Center is involved in various research and development initiatives related to water management, desalination, and wastewater treatment and reuse.