Water. desalination + reuse

DWR NovDec 2015

Water. Desalination + reuse

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/604344

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 36

IDA presIDent November-December 2015 | Desalination & Water Reuse | 15 | _________ emilio Gabbrielli, president, the International Desalination Association ___ The newly elected president of the International Desalination Association lays out his ambitions for the organization during his tenure including new territories and a stronger identity. In September, I had the great honour of being elected president of the International Desalination Association (IDA) for the 2015-2017 term. My presidency coincides with what I believe is a watershed moment for our industry, for our many stakeholders, and for ensuring IDA's future as the leading global organization dedicated to desalination and water reuse. In putting my name forward for the IDA presidency election, I reaffirmed my commitment to bring to the global desalination and reuse industry as well as the IDA membership and our affiliates, an unwavering passion for, and dedication to, our community as well as the perspectives gleaned from my 40 years of global experience. I say global, because I started my career with solar desalination in Peru in 1975, then worked on electrodialysis reversal plants in Algeria and multi stage flash plants in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and later got involved with membranes, vapour compression and zero- discharge in Australia and Southeast Asia. As a process engineer, I was a pioneer in designing intakes in the Mediterranean Sea capable of dealing with Posidonia Oceanica leaves and fibres (commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed), in the remineralization of desalted water and in developing computer models optimizing design and operation of dual- purpose plants and zero-discharge systems. Later as joint venture project manager, I led the construction of the zero-discharge schemes of Bayswater and Mount Piper in Australia. In recent years, I gained policy and diplomatic experience as chief executive officer of the Global Water Partnership, an experience that brought many insights and much value to the IDA. Over the past 40 and more years, the IDA has grown into a significant global organization – the world's leader in our space – with excellent convening power in the desalination community and knowledge brokering through our events. However, as indicated in the IDA 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, we cannot be complacent. The IDA of today and tomorrow needs to increase its scope and relevance as our industry and our members' needs continue to evolve. Our industry faces challenges, to be sure. Growth in desalination is steady but has yet to recover to the levels prior to the recession. The decline in oil prices has cast something of a pall over the robust growth our industry enjoyed in the oil and gas industry just a short time ago. In some parts of the world, lingering misperceptions about the cost and environmental impact of desalination have slowed its acceptance, although that scenario seems to be improving with more widespread recognition of the power of seawater desalination, in particular, to deliver the world's only new and reliable source of fresh water. On a global level, we need solutions to increasing pressures on our water supplies that stem from population and economic growth, degradation of conventional water supplies, and increasingly, the impact of climate change as we saw first-hand during the IDA World Congress in San Diego. Spending a week in the heart of the historic California drought drove that message home in no uncertain terms. But we are also fortunate to be part of a future that, in many ways, is turning into the golden age of water treatment technology. Those of us who attended the IDA World Congress witnessed this first-hand in both the technical programme as well as the exhibition. Some of the advancements presented were evolutionary in nature, many aimed at enhancing energy efficiency with improvements to existing technologies. Other advancements were more disruptive. We saw the development of new materials, new ways of looking at membranes, and a surge of interest in the use of renewables to power desalination. My predecessor, Dr Abdullah Al- Alshaikh, spoke extensively during his presidency about sustainability and the new paradigm it represents. By tapping renewable energy, development in solar- powered desalination delivers on the promise of sustainability in a profound way. Add to this the great interest in water reuse, whether on the part of municipalities or to increase sustainability on the industrial side. The combination of desalination and reuse presents a holistic solution to the challenges posed by global water scarcity. It brings together the unique capacity of desalination to produce a new source of fresh water with strategies that extend the lifecycle of this precious resource through recycle/reuse programmes. As many of you know, the IDA has embarked on a programme to place more focus on reuse as a result of its recent A course for the future Gabbrielli: "We must enhance our relevance and value for existing and new members."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Water. desalination + reuse - DWR NovDec 2015