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Posted On: 17 March 2011 10:41 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Workshop to shed light on water-energy-food linkage

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International experts, scientists and stakeholders from Qatar in the fields of water, energy and food security will meet on March 23 for a workshop on ‘Water-Energy-Food Nexus’ at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ). The sessions will discuss the linkages between these three vital resources, and the research necessary to better develop policy to ensure future sustainability while meeting Qatar’s needs. In partnership with the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP), TAMUQ, Qatar University (QU), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ), Qatar Foundation’s newest research institute - Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute (QEERI), will be making its debut at the workshop. QEERI executive director Dr Rabi Mohtar said that if Qatar, which imports 90% of its food requirements, needs to enhance local agricultural productivity, the interlinkages with water and energy should also be carefully considered. “This focus touches at the core of the philosophy of the QEERI,” he said. QEERI is one of three national research institutes established by Qatar Foundation. The other two are the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and the Qatar Computing Research Institute. “This workshop is providing a unique and multidisciplinary research forum for national stakeholders and international experts to discuss and to actively tackle environmental issues and their implications on water and food security,” said Dr Abdelali Haoudi, vice-president for research at Qatar Foundation. “This workshop and the establishment of QEERI are a central part of QF’s mandate to prepare for a post-carbon world,” he observed. The goal of QEERI is to ensure the sustainable development of Qatar through providing clean and sustainable sources of energy, and secure water and food resources while protecting the environment. Core research areas include clean water and energy, environmental impact and air quality. Working with research partners at Education City, QU and other national labs, QEERI will undertake research to help build a framework for water and food security policy in Qatar. Qatar’s own rapidly rising population and economic ambitions, combined with global energy needs that rely on Qatar’s natural resource exports, puts unsustainable pressure on the country’s resources. The projected demand for water for food and energy production is significant, and policies that develop a framework for better managing these resources in a sustainable manner are critical. “Food, water and energy issues are very interrelated,” said Dr Mohtar while asserting that water security cannot be achieved without addressing the food chain and understanding how water is being used.