MUSCAT: The geographical location of the region makes water security a priority issue for all GCC countries, according to H E Ali bin Mohammed al Abri, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR).

H E Abri was speaking on the opening day of 11th GCC Water Conference which began at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Monday.

During his address, H E Abri has called upon decision-makers in Gulf countries to raise awareness on management of water resources. He added that joint action plans and projects are necessary for the preservation of water resources to meet the growing demand from industrial, agricultural and tourism sectors.

The conference is being held under the theme, ‘Water in the GCC… Towards Efficient Management’. Discussions are being held to identify ways to improve the efficiency of water utilisation.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid al Zayani, secretary general of GCC for the Arab States of the Gulf, emphasised on the need for implementing laws concerning surface water, groundwater and treated wastewater utilisation.

As many as 38 papers on various aspects of water conservation were presented during the first two days of the conference which is being attended by researchers, specialists and policy makers.

Besides, the conference also called upon establishing a communication network between individuals and institutions in the GCC working in the field of water conservation.

An exhibition is also being held as part of the ongoing conference to showcase various technologies of water conservation.

The conference is being supported by Bahrain-based Water Science and Technology Association, Public Authority for Electricity and Water, the Omani Society for Water and MRMWR.