The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) concluded the first training package for the Diploma programme in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), for the eighth batch. The Diploma has been taught in the United Nations Educational Centre for Water Resources Management in the Arab Region, via distant learning methods, due to the current health circumstances.
The programme was undertaken by 17 youth participants from the GCC and the Arab region. Those participants work in the water sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman; and from the Arab region, the participants worked in Iraq, Sudan, and Syria.
As for the expenses of the programme, they were covered by generous grants from the the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) since 2007, in addition to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Cairo Office, and the Gulf Water Science and Technology Association (WSTAGCC).
Resources Management Programme Coordinator at AGU's College of Graduate Studies (CGS) and Water Resources Professor Dr Waleed stated that water resource management is a strategic matter for the GCC and the Arab region in general, especially due to the rarity of natural water resources in the area.
Dr Zubari further clarified that the University's attention with water issues, and its release of the IWRM specialisation stems from the goals it was originally intended to meet; those goals include addressing GCC issues and contributing to tackling them through scientific research, teaching, training and consultations.
It's noteworthy that the Regional Center for Managing Water Resources in the Arab Region was created in 2007 as part of an agreement between the AGU and United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), with support from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) in Kuwait. It's also worth noting that the Centre has graduated seven batches, with a total of 92 graduates from different Arab countries. The programme includes 9 training packages that are implemented over the course of one year, with the utilisation of the dual education method (distance education and short-term attendance).
Moreover, the programme's participants are tasked with working on a graduation project that's meant to address one of the main water issues facing their respective countries. Those graduation projects cover numerous issues that pertain to the Arab region as a whole, and it address the challenges of managing water resources, such as groundwater, surface water, desalinated water, treated sewage water as well as the different agricultural, municipal and industrial uses of water.
Additionally, graduation projects deal with a number of intersecting matters such as the social, economic and environmental dimensions of water issues, as it is a key goal of the programme to look at water issues comprehensively, and not only through a narrow technical perspective.