The Unending Benefits of Wetlands

Wetlands are wonderful for numerous reasons but these wonders weren’t always known to man and it was often common to overlook the importance of this distinct ecosystem. The mention of a wetland used to bring to mind images of murky, mosquito-riddled swamps or unused lands that needed to be developed into a space which would be more useful to humankind. Wetlands were grossly undervalued which led to loss of many and provoked the Convention on Wetlands to be signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. The Ramsar Convention still serves as an international wetland conservation movement and currently holds over 160 nation … Continue reading

فوائد لا تحصى للأراضي الرطبة

لطالما أغفلنا روعة وأهمية الأراضي الرطبة بسبب جهلنا للميزات العديدة لهذا النظام البيئي. و لطالما استخدم مصطلح الأراضي الرطبة   للتعبير عن المستنقعات العكرة  المليئة بالبعوض أو الأراضي غير المستغلة التي تحتاج إلى بعض التحسينات لتكون أكثر إفادة للإنسان. و قد أدى هذا التقليل من شأن وأهمية الأراضي الرطبة إلى فقدان الكثير منها، الأمر الذي استلزم التوقيع على معاهدة الأراضي الرطبة في رامسار، في إيران عام 1971. ولا تزال تلك المعاهدة تعد بمثابة الحركة الدولية للمحافظة على الأراضي الرطبة، حيث تضم أكثر من 160 دولة موقعة. لقد وضح الراحل نيلسون مانديلا روعة التنوع البيولوجي الموجود في الأراضي الرطبة عندما ذكر منطقة … Continue reading

Save Dead Sea from Extinction

The news headlines read that the Dead Sea is dying so fast that it could totally disappear by the middle of this century. With the waters dying up, the exposed land is cracked and salt encrusted. Sinkholes are appearing as well and adding to the level of natural destruction. The rate of this process is being monitored by measuring the rate at which the water line is retreating. It is presently receding at the rate of one meter each year. The Dead Sea region is of great importance to three main religious groups: Jews, Muslims and Christians. The Dead Sea … Continue reading

Water Resource Management in GCC – Issues and Challenges

GCC countries are suffering from a huge deficit in their water resources reaching more than 20 billion cubic meter, being met mainly by an intensive over-drafting of renewable and non-renewable groundwater resources for the agricultural sector, and by the extensive installation of highly expensive desalination plants for the municipal sector, and by reusing a small percentage of treated wastewater in the agricultural and municipal sector. Furthermore, conflict between the agricultural and domestic sectors on the limited water resources in the region are rising, and as a result, groundwater over-exploitation and mining is expected to continue in order to meet growing … Continue reading

حصاد مياه الأمطار: فيض من المنافع

حصاد أو تجميع مياه الأمطار ليس بمفهوم جديد. ويعني ببساطة تجميع المياه في المناطق التي تتمتع بانهمار مطري متكرر ومنتظم حول العالم، حيث تخزن كميات المياه التي يتم تجميعها ليصار إلى استخدامها في وقت لاحق. عادة ما تجري المياه عبر أسطح المباني لتتجمع في خزانات مياه الأمطار. ويمارس هذا الأسلوب بشكل شائع في الأرياف للاستهلاك المحلي. كما يمكن تجميع المياه في السدود والخزانات لاستخدام المجتمعات على المدى البعيد. يمكن بسهولة جمع مياه الأمطار في المدن والضواحي، من خلال توجيه التدفق عبر المزاريب ومن ثم إلى أماكن التخزين، ويمكن تصميم هذا الأسلوب للاستخدام المنزلي وتوسيع نطاقه لتطبيقات أكبر مثل الصناعة والزراعة. … Continue reading

Halobacterium – A Model of Life in the Dead Sea

Biodiversity is one of the Earth’s greatest treasures that spellbound biologists for centuries. It is widely agreed that biodiversity is essential to increase appreciation for the value of biodiversity, since the ecosystems services, through biodiversity, play a fundamental tile in maintaining and enhancing the well being of the world, it is well-known that human health, wealth, security and culture are affected by any changes in the ecosystem. Still, additional research is required to understand the relationship between the ecosystem and biodiversity. Microorganisms can exist even in the most inhospitable habitats with extreme conditions. Despite their size, these unicellular organisms have … Continue reading

The Role of Water Treatment in Environmental Sustainability

Water scarcity is one of the largest threats facing humanity today due to constant water shortages being experienced all over the world. Only a small percentage of the world’s water (about 3%) is fit for human consumption with two percent of this amount present in glaciers and ice caps. The United Nations has given water due prominence by making it one of its millennium development goals. Such is the importance of water that governments have started developing new technologies and projects to cushion its effects on the world population. These initiatives include desalination, rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and water location … Continue reading

Water Crisis in Egypt and Degeneration of the Nile

Egypt is struggling to cope with water shortages and food production. It is expected that Egypt’s per capita annual water supply will drop from 600 cubic meters today to 500 cubic meters by 2025, which is the UN threshold for absolute water scarcity. Egypt has only 20 cubic meters per person of internal renewable freshwater resources, and as a result the country relies heavily on the Nile for its main source of water. Water scarcity has become so severe that it has been recorded that certain areas in the country could go days without water, with pressure sometimes returning only … Continue reading

أثار التغير المناخي على مصادر المياه

النقص الحاصل في كمية المياه العذبة في الشرق الأوسط و شمال إفريقيا يمثل خطرا حقيقيا في النمو الإقتصادي , التلاصق الإجتماعي , السلام و الإستقرار السياسي . علاوة على ذلك , إستهلاك المياه العذبة في هذه الأيام لم يعد يقتصر على توافرها الحالي و المستقبلي و إنما تعتمد على إحتياجات الإستهلاكية التنافسية قطاعياً و جغرافياً . و ما يزيد الأمر سوءا , أن هذا الوضع الرهيب بدأ بالتفاقم بسبب التغيرالمناخي السريع . التغير المناخي يؤثر على مصادر المياه من خلال تأثيره العميق على كل من كمية المياه , التوقيت  , التغير , الشكل و شدة الترسيب . منطقة الشرق الأوسط … Continue reading

The Menace of Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are a common feature in urban life. The availability of water bottles is common and the cost is affordable by all sections of the society due to which its use and misuse has increased manifolds with time. People also provide it for free in mosques and other public locations. It is because of its easy availability that people misuse this resource considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it, consuming partly and leaving it at the venue or throwing it in garbage bins. Empty and partially consumed plastic water bottles are collected and thrown away in municipal … Continue reading

The Health Impacts of Drinking Contaminated Water

Drinking dirty or contaminated water causes numerous health problems, all of which one should be aware of. The contamination of water sources can start from the main water sources such as city water supplies, rivers, streams, and lakes, or well water supplies. Moreover, the main water source such as groundwater might get contaminated from toxic chemicals found underground, such as fluoride or arsenic, if the water is not filtered properly. Furthermore, contamination can occur from something as dangerous as a badly designed hazardous waste site or industrial site, exposing the water to numerous dangerous chemicals. As previously mentioned, contaminated water … Continue reading

CSP-Powered Desalination: Prospects in MENA

Conventional large-scale desalination is cost-prohibitive and energy-intensive, and not viable for poor countries in the MENA region due to increasing costs of fossil fuels. In addition, the environmental impacts of desalination are considered critical on account of GHG emissions from energy consumption and discharge of brine into the sea. The negative effects of desalination can be minimized, to some extent, by using renewable energy to power the plants. What is Concentrated Solar Power The core element of Concentrated Solar Power Plant is a field of large mirrors reflecting captured rays of sun to a small receiver element, thus concentrating the … Continue reading