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4th Annual Bilateral Chamber Panel at WEFTEC 2017

Water Scarcity Challenges in the Middle East & North Africa: Experts Discuss Challenges & Solutions

4th Annual Bilateral Chamber Panel at WEFTEC 2017

Date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Time: 10am-11am

Location: Global Center at WEFTEC

According to the UN Water Agencies and the World Bank, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is by far one of the driest areas in the world where water resources availability is generally described as acutely scarce. Yet, this area is one of the fastest growing regions on earth, both in terms of population and standard of living, leading to a situation where water demand and consumption vastly exceed availability.

Heavy utilization and consumption of groundwater in the region without natural recharge have led outright exhaustion of groundwater aquifers, and most countries in the region have no directly usable surface fresh water resources.  Hence, there is a dire need for water management programs and technologies that emphasize conservation and efficient use, multiple reuse, and the incorporation and adoption of advanced water provision technologies such as sea and brackish water desalination and, where possible, rainwater harvesting.

Multiple water reuse for industrial and agronomic purposes must become a standard water management practice.  Additionally, visionary polices are needed to insure the implementation of sustainable solutions and technologies to help meet the ever increasing water demands and protect available resources for future generations.

On October 2, 2017 the Bilateral Chamber convened an expert panel at the largest water-quality event in North America-  WEFTEC 2017.  The Bilateral Chamber’s panel, made up of international water management experts explored water scarcity issues and addressed opportunities for cooperation between water agencies in the MENA zone and international partners.   

Esteemed panelists included:

Dr. Mohamed Dahab (moderator)

  • Member, Technology Insight Circle, Bilateral Chamber of Commerce
  • Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jamie Witherspoon

  • Vice-President, Cole Engineering

Dr. Glen Daigger

  • Professor, Environmental and Water Resources, University of Michigan 
  • World Technology Leader, CH2M (ret.)
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering

Dr. Khalil Atasi

  • Saudi Arabia Country Manager, CDM-Smith, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


WEFTEC® is recognized as the world’s largest annual water quality technical conference and exhibition, providing extensive educational opportunities and unparalleled access to the field’s most cutting-edge technologies and services.

Trade Delegations

WEFTEC 2017 is the only water show selected to be a part of the U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program!

WEF’s Trade Delegation Program, designed to increase the number of international buyers who visit WEFTEC, offers the opportunity for delegates to network with others in the water industry from the U.S. and all over the globe to establish business contacts, create partnerships, and discuss the latest technologies and solutions available. U.S. trade agencies, consulates, embassies, and independent delegation organizers work with WEF staff to coordinate meetings for international delegates attending WEFTEC who are interested in gaining greater access to international markets.