Global scientific conference in Riyadh to discuss water scarcity

A concerted global effort is needed to make water sustainably available for future generations. (Shutterstock image)
Updated 24 November 2018

Global scientific conference in Riyadh to discuss water scarcity

  • The need for water, life’s most precious resource, is increasing exponentially with the rise in the human population, say conference organizers

RIYADH: An international scientific conference to look for solutions on depleting water will be held in Riyadh from Dec. 3 to 5. 

The eighth International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments, which is held every two years, is organized jointly by the Ministry of the Environment, Water, and Agriculture; King Saud University; the Prince Sultan Institute for Environmental, Water and Desert Research; and the Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz International Prize for Water.

The three-day global meet aims to exchange knowledge and share information in water resources and desert-related fields, explore use of new technologies in the study of arid and semi-arid environments and their natural resources and to provide an opportunity for decision-makers, experts and scientists to share their expertise to find integrative and comprehensive solutions for water resource problems.

According to the organizers, the need for water, life’s most precious resource, is increasing exponentially with the rise in the human population, and to ensure that there will be enough water for future generations, a concerted global effort is needed to make water sustainably available.

“We need to work together in trust and with a sense of shared responsibility. Our efforts must remain above the narrow concerns of geography, politics, or economic interests, because human life, wherever it is found, is truly the most precious thing, and water is the most precious component of human life,” said Abdulmalek Al-Alshaikh, chairman of the ICWRAE steering committee.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.