Watershare welcomed its two new members – AySA from Argentina and DIAM from Oman – during a lunch session at its stand at the IWA World Water Congress. The two water utilities are strongly driven by innovation and the implementation of new techniques.
Said Al-Busaidi of DIAM, the Public Authority for Electricity and Water, gave the well-attended gathering an overview of drinking-water related developments in Oman. Oman is confronted with the huge challenge of providing its population with drinking water. Major investments are being made in RO plants, but during the summer months there is frequently a shortage of reliable water because of the occurrence of algae blooms along the coast. For this reason DIAM is searching – in part through Watershare – for more sustainable solutions, such as the temporary storage of water surpluses in the subsurface. Said Al-Busaidi also noted DIAM was working within Watershare on a number of research themes aimed at making the Oman water system more resilient and improving the design of its distribution networks.
José Inglese, the Director of AySA (Agua y Saneamentos Argentinos) is very pleased with the collaboration within Watershare. The Buenos Aires water utility is the biggest in Argentina. As such, it also serves as a model for other water utilities in the country, when it comes to the implementation of innovations and piloting of new techniques. Work is currently being carried out in partnership with KWR on a feasibility study for the removal of arsenic, and two pilots are under preparation. AySA also faces numerous other challenges, which are related to the dimensions of the company (water provision for more than 10 million customers) and its ambition, in the short term, to supply all the residents of the Buenos Aires metropolitan region – more than 14 million people – with reliable drinking water. In short, Buenos Aires is a big city with big challenges.