MENA NWC Reaches out to German Water Scientists through Water Science Alliance
The Middle East and North Africa Network of Water Centers of Excellence (MENA NWC) participated in the 6th Water Research Horizon Conference (WRHC) in Berlin, 17-18 June 2015. The Network was represented by two Board Members: Prof. Waleed Zubari from Bahrain and Dr. Ralf Klingbeil from Germany. Facilitated by the Water Science Alliance e.V., the WRHC was established as Germany’s forum for exchange on interdisciplinary water research and trans-national collaboration. It provides an ideal platform for partners as MENA NWC to meet with a broad range of water scientists and water-related decision makers in Germany, seeking closer cooperation between Germany and the MENA region.
MENA NWC supports collaborative research and scientific excellence between water research centers and universities for more sustainable water management in the region through cooperative research grants, knowledge exchange and capacity development programmes. The Network currently counts 25 research centers and universities from the region, who collaborate closely with each other and with international partners from research institutions in the USA and Netherlands, and with the private sector. Today the Network is growing and looking for closer cooperation with other countries like Germany, which is the third largest donor country in the MENA water sector with many active programmes in water research and development cooperation.
MENA NWC contributed to the WRHC in cooperation with other German partners, the Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in a well-attended Open Space Workshop “Water scarcity in MENA: challenges and opportunities for water science cooperation”. The workshop proposed research priorities from the German research community for cooperation with MENA partners; addressing among others themes such as water scarcity through modern technologies and water governance. Five German research institutions have already expressed interest to join the Network as affiliate members.
The WRHC is a regular exchange forum yearly organized by the Water Science Alliance e. V. offering a platform to meet and exchange beyond the traditional boundaries of the specific scientific associations, and to develop new collaborative approaches on thematic or regional issues for joint research projects in a national as well as international context.