January 2022

Simple, relatable solutions for the Wetskills win at WorldExpo

By Team Witteveen & Bos: Musthafa Mavukkandy, Karima Faidi, Mariam Shaker, Hadeel Najjar, Julian Gerritsen   Ever since we heard about the Wetskills program, we have been curious to participate. Increasing population, urbanization, industrialization, and climate change put severe pressure on the existing water bodies and require us to invent novel ways of producing freshwater—be that desalination or water reuse or atmospheric water harvesting, or effective water management practices and developing new policies on water pricing and distributions.   Wetskills facilitated a thriving environment for fostering innovation and proposing new (out-of-the-box) solutions to real-world problems. Furthermore, it also develops future water professionals and policymakers during this process.   Wetskills 2022 brought young international talents to work on challenges shared by three industrial partners and one local university. It was indeed education put into practice. There were 4 cases—(a) developing a decision-support tool for helping UAE farmers with the best info on groundwater use, (b) encouraging the...

Read More

Wetskills’ first event in UAE a great success

16 January 2022 – Wetskills concluded its Challenge programme in UAE in the Netherlands Pavilion of the Dubai 2020 World Expo (see movie of the Finals & Awarding event on our YouTube Channel). 19 participants from 10 different countries joined this first Wetskills event in UAE (and 53rd event since 2010). An international jury panel announced Team Falaj 2.0 as winner.  Team Members Silvio Kaiser (HZ University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands) Meera AlKaabi, , Azza Alshamsi, Ayesha Alam (all UAE University) and Laura Pulido (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia) created an out of the box but applicable concept to improve water management on small farms in UAE. Hybrid format Wetskills has started its first event in the United Arab Emirates. In a hybrid format, 21 participants from countries such as the UAE, the Netherlands, Colombia, India, Nigeria and Germany are working together in four teams....

Read More

Wetskills visits the farms of Garden City of UAE: Al Ain

By team UAEU: Ayesha Alam, Laura Pulido Beltran, Meera Alkaabi, Silvio Kaiser and Azza Alshamsi   A fervent commencement of the new year and arrival of the Wetskills organizers and participants, impounded a great head start for the work-life post-Christmas hangover, with the spice of Emirates winter, rain showers and COVID upsurge. Well, COVID is a kind of chunk of life now, but it continues to play the character of a bothersome obstacle for social gatherings, meet and greets, field trips and scientific talks. In a nutshell, it is non-negligible trouble for people to step back into normal life same as two years ago. Patiently dealing through the roller coaster ride of the journey mirroring the ride from Dubai airport to the hotel on the top of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, Wetskills Dubai 2022 got a kick start with warm and pleasant catchup at the Al Ain Zoo under trillions of...

Read More

Thinking outside the bottle

By team RVO: Mariam Alshamsi, Lina Abdalla, Sarah H. Harib, Theo Huisman   How to make the UAE stop drinking bottled water in ten days? Well, simple, it just takes 5 steps.   Form an overambitious team. Ideally, a Wetskills team is a mixture of drought and flood, precipitation, and evaporation. With roots in Palestine, the Netherlands, and the UAE we are fortunate to be such a highly diverse team. We complement each other with expertise, skills and culture. We have one thing in common: ambition!   Consult experts. Did you know single use water bottles are one of the largest environmental problems? Despite our efforts to reuse and recycle, plastic bottles are not biodegradable and become land and ocean litter. As said by the world economic forum: by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Do we want this to happen? No. So, why do we drink water from plastic bottles?...

Read More

Wetskills brings rain to the UAE!

By Team PureBlue Water: Connecting Blue and Green Networks (Ivory Mast, Adetunji Alabi, Savanna Kok, Mansour Alhimairi, Abdulrahman Alkatheeri, Saffana Ahmed)   Wetskills is of course all about water, but when you think about the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you probably first think about a desert and lack of water. The first experience with the UAE for our Dutch team members was, however, rain. Leaving the airport in Dubai, we could almost not believe what we felt falling on our heads. We thought to have escaped the cold and rainy weather from the Netherlands to come to a much warmer and especially drier climate.   As the programme took off the next day in the Al Ain Zoo, the beginning of the day was plagued with some even more raindrops. The local participants did not see the rain as a bad experience, although it brought some colder weather as well. It hasn’t been raining...

Read More

Join hybrid Finals and Awarding – Wetskills-United Arab Emirates 2022

Wetskills at Dubai 2020 World Expo Wetskills has started its first event in United Arab Emirates, last week. In a hybrid format (online with some in-person activities) 21 participants from various countries (like UAE, The Netherlands, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Germany) work together in four teams with each its own challenge, provided by sector partners, as Witteveen+Bos and PureBlue Water but also local host UAE University, working closely together with the Dutch Dubai programme of The Netherlands government. Coming Sunday (16 January) the teams will present the results to an international jury in The Netherlands Pavilion of the Dubai 2020 World Expo. It will be a hybrid event, both in-person and online. This hybrid event will also be the last part of the Wetskills 10 years Jubilee Celebrations. As the programme started at the Shanghai 2010, Wetskills will bridge the two World Expos and look back to the results.   Location (hybrid): Netherlands Pavilion Dubai...

Read More