The 9th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (ICWRAE) was held from 29 to 31 March 2021 as a hybrid live and virtual event at King Saud University.
ICWRAE is an international scientific conference held every two years. It is organized by King Saud University (KSU), the Prince Sultan Institute for Environmental, Water and Desert Research, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW), and the Saudi Ministry of the Environment, Water, and Agriculture.
Scientists from around the world have been attracted to the conference since it was first held back in 2004.
Due to COVID-19, the organizers decided to take advantage of the possibilities presented by the virtual platform to hold a special edition of the conference, focusing on winners of the prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, past and present, from the 1st Award in 2004 until the 9th Award in 2020.
All in all, 31 PSIPW laureates representing the nearly 20-year history of the prize, gave presentations at the conference on the progress of their water-related innovations since receiving the award. All presentations are availible online for viewing at the ICWRAE website.
Attendees from abroad were able to enjoy the experience of King Saud University’s iconic central court, which was reproduced along with the exterior of the University Center and the KSU auditorium in a virtual 3-D platform.
The conference was held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was represented at the inaugural ceremony by H.E. Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, Saudi Minister Of Environment, Water And Agriculture. The ceremony was also addressed by H.E. Badran al-Omar (president of King Saud University and chairman of the PSIPW Council) and Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh (PSIPW General Secretary).
The conference also attracted keynote addresses from leading global figures in water, including Loïc Fauchon (president of the World Water Council), Mahmoud Abu-Zeid (President of the Arab Water Council), Tom Soo (Executive Director of the International association of Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research), and Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs.
ICWRAE’s Strategic Partner was the Arabian Agricultural Services Company (ARASCO), a leading food security enterprise in the Middle East and parent company of six strategic business units covering all aspects of food production, distribution, logistics, and security.
Attendees at the conference were also able to visit the booths of several companies, agencies, and scientific institutions at an accompanying virtual exhibition.