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Water Wise

Rami Abu Amirah discusses the challenges of hydrating a parched land

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Rami Abu Amirah, regional commercial manager, DWPS
Rami Abu Amirah, regional commercial manager, DWPS

Tell us about your offering here in the Middle East 
Dow Water and Process Solutions (DWPS) combines the power of science and the latest technology to help address the region’s greatest water challenges, offering a range of solutions in the areas of Ultrafiltration Reverse Osmosis and Ion Exchange Resins.
 
What is the biggest challenge facing the region
The imbalance of water supply and demand in the region is a huge challenge. With expanding populations expected to climb by over 57% by 2050 and rapid urban economic growth, experts estimate that annual domestic water demand in the MENA countries will more than triple over the next 20-30 years.
However, water scarcity is just the tip of the iceberg, as with rising energy costs, water processing costs will also increase. In this respect, Dow Water and Process Solutions is dedicated to the development of technologies that reduce the amount of energy required, thus reducing the cost of water treatments for businesses. Consider, for example, DOW FILMTEC™ ECO Reverse Osmosis elements, which have been designed to offer unparalleled rejection and flow performance for industrial water treatment, while also enabling lower energy usage and reduced regeneration costs.
 
Tell us about your latest desalination technology and how it is helping to improve efficiency
Dow Water and Process Solutions is building a reverse osmosis manufacturing facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the first facility of its kind outside the United States. Over 100 jobs will be created at the facility, which will manufacture DOW FILMTEC™ Reverse Osmosis elements, cutting-edge technologies for water desalination and re-use for potable, non-potable and industrial water serving Saudi Arabia, the surrounding Middle East and North Africa regions and emerging markets worldwide. Desalination is one of the most important water process treatments in areas where water scarcity is widespread, yet the single largest cost for seawater desalination is energy. A great example of how Dow Water and Process Solutions is meeting the challenge of reducing energy consumption in desalination is DOW SEAMAXXTM, which help reduce the high amount of energy typically needed to create freshwater from saltwater by up to 10%, significantly reducing costs for businesses, municipalities, and consumers.
 
What are your future plans for the region?
Dow Water and Process Solutions aims to achieve advancement in business performance while also enhancing human progress to make a global difference, while contributing on a local level to advancements in the water treatment sector. Recently, the company has made great progress in the development of water treatment technologies that reduce energy consumption. Now, the next frontier is to develop innovative solutions that meet other challenges, such as fouling resistant membranes that address the increased energy costs caused by fouling and frequent cleaning, which shortens the life of the elements. The new Dow RO facility will bring local supply security of next generation technologies for water desalination as well as more cost effective water treatment solution. This is important and needed as the region moves to more sustainable practices; desalination via reverse osmosis has proven to be less energy-intensive compared to traditional thermal methods which are more prevalent in the Middle East.

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