Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that the UAE will host the International Desalination Association (IDA)’s 2019 World Congress on Water Desalination.

IDA, based in Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA, is a non-profit organisation within the United Nations NGO Network.

The event will be held in Dubai and is expected to attract around 2000 participants from 60 countries around the world. It will coincide with the 21st Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX).

The event was announced at a press conference at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Patricia Burke, Secretary General of the IDA.

Al Tayer highlighted that DEWA is following a strategy to ensure that by 2030, 100% of desalinated water will be produced with a mix of clean energy that uses both renewable energy and waste heat. This will allow Dubai to exceed global targets for using clean energy to desalinate water, he said.

“DEWA has also launched an innovative initiative to study the possibility of injecting and storing desalinated water within subterranean water basins and being able to pump it back into the water network when needed," Al Tayer reported. "The project is based on the latest innovative technologies to achieve operational efficiency in the water network. Studies have shown that it is possible to store 5,100 million gallons of water that can be retrieved when needed."

This technology is more cost-effective than the conventional way of storing water in concrete reservoirs, he concluded.