UNESCO funds desalination research chair at KSU

Riyadh-based King Saud University (KSU) has established a Water Desalination Research Chair funded by UNESCO.
The chair’s aim is to evaluate and study the water desalination program comprehensively and recommend the necessary technology required by the Kingdom to ensure the cost-efficient production and supply of desalinated water in the future.
A KSU statement said: “Estimates and assessments offered by the new chair will assist officials in determining the reliability of long-term decisions involving capital necessary to avert any shortage of water supply and resources.”
Saudi Arabia, which donated $ 20 million to UNESCO for carrying out its projects globally, will largely benefit from the organization’s experience. UNESCO is in the process of setting up several chairs at Saudi universities in selected areas, Ziad Aldress, Saudi ambassador to UNESCO, said Sunday.
Referring to the objectives of the chair, he said Saudi Arabia had nearly 30 water desalination plants in which salt and minerals are extracted from seawater and transported to the Kingdom through 2,500 miles of pipelines.
The chair will help to boost the desalination industry, he added.
UNESCO has been extremely active in the water desalination process, especially between 2008 and 2010 when the combined production of desalinated water increased 30 percent worldwide.
The chair will be active in two phases of developing the Kingdom’s water desalination network. The first will be to draft short and long-range plans that will include analyzing current water consumption and desalination methods, developing the anticipated methods for the desalination process and defining future desalination requirements.
The second phase will address means of improving initial water treatment technology using a membrane system and an important issue considering the increased use of reverse osmosis.

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