International Conference on Developing Capabilities and Scientific Research on Water

On the 27 March an international conference on developing capabilities and scientific research concerning water was held at Birzeit University. The conference was organized by the Engineering Faculty in cooperation with the IHE Institute Holland, Fakhneen University, the Egyptian National Research Institute and the Water and Environment Institute of the Jordanian University. The conference was attended by Mr. Yousef Abu Safiyeh, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Mr. Khayri Jamal, representative of the National Water Authority along with a number of local and international experts.

The conference was opened by Birzeit University President Dr. Hanna Nasir, who expressed his support for implementing joint programs between regional and international institutions. Dr. Nasir emphasized the necessity of cooperation between the university and local and international institutions that will contribute to the development of the university. He mentioned the support of the university for public cooperation, academic standards and freedom of thought and opinion. He added that the university works on developing these characteristics in order to contribute to building a strong civil society.

Dr. Nasir emphasized the need for qualified water and environmental engineers to work in planning and designing water and environmental services. Dr. Nasir added that the university had organized in previous years several short-term courses in water resources management and health engineering. All these courses were held in cooperation with the European Union. He stated that in 1996, the university started to implement a long-term program to develop local capabilities in this field. This aim was achieved through the launch of a specialized Master program in water. About fifty students, most of whom are working as water engineers, have applied for these programs.

Mr. Yousif Abu Safeya, Minister of Environmental Affairs, thanked Birzeit University, for the preparation of such a conference. Dr. Wael Hashlamoun, Dean of Engineering Faculty, explained the importance of such a conference in developing the water sector in Palestine. In addition to that, the cooperation between the university and international institutions guarantees the success of the Master's program in Water Engineering.

Researchers from Jordan, Egypt, Holland, Palestine, England, France and the United States participated in this conference. The meeting included discussion around the following topics:

  • Academic Development and Research in the water sector
  • Developing scientific research in the water sector
  • Treating waste water
  • Water Hydrology
  • Managing water resources in Gaza Strip
  • Water Resources in Palestine
  • The experiments of the nearby countries such as Jordan and Egypt in managing water resources and treating wastewater.