Blogs

Reflection: diamonds are forever

Muscat, Oman - 27 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge - Reflection By Niel de Jong (Water Authority Hollands Noorderkwartier & Nationale Water Traineeship)   I was asked to reflect on the complete Wetskills programme, and what I brought me. Looking at my unpacked suitcase in front of me, I could say: beautiful souvenirs! And I have to admit that as I am writing this down, it makes me laugh a bit. The memories attached, however, do tell a story that is more worth sharing. The Wetskills programme officially consists of three ingredients: young water professionals, cases from the water sector, and … pressure. On our second day, Wetskills senior Johan explained this philosophy: ‘With sufficient pressure, carbon dioxide can be transformed into diamonds. And similarly, ideas can be made into diamonds’. The metaphor rings and it sticks. But it also made me think further: ‘Diamonds are formed over millions, if not billions, of years. So,...

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And the winner is…

Muscat, Oman - 25 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 10 By Luisa Javier (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia) & Marsha Tack (Wageningen University)   Today is the last day of the pressure cooker Wetskills program; a day with mixed emotions. The last two weeks were very intense. We worked hard on the cases and had a lot of fun. With the adrenaline at the top, we rode into the bus and Marsha was the first to break the silence: “Music, please”.  We arrived to Sultan Qaboos University to the World Water Day, which topic was “Leaving no one behind”. We believe the theme was perfect for a closing ceremony, basically summarizing what we all achieved as a Wetskills family that was formed in these past ten days. After the official opening remarks and listening to some singing verses of the Quran, lectures on water challenges in Oman start occurring one by one....

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Atheer vs Martijn

Muscat, Oman - 24 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 9 By Atheer Al Kabsi (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia) & Martijn Erkelens (Dutch Water Authorities)   Today was the day for the pitchers and the posters! The day every group has been working towards during the Wetskills program. This is the day Wetskills looks most like an competative arena in an otherwise very friendly program. Martijn: The day started at the Sultan Qaboos University. All the pitchers, me included, still had plenty of time to prepare untill the end of the day. We started with a some great awesome Omani food that our Omani Wetskills groupmates brought along with them: Shúkran! After that display of culinary excellence it was time for a pitch rehearsal with all the pitchers. Everyones pitch greatly improved compared to the previous day. I knew that I had to get serious if I even wanted so much as a...

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True Value of Water at Wetskills-Oman 2019

The 2nd Wetskills in Oman took place from 15 to 25 March 2019. 24 local and international young professionals and students from the water sector worked together in 5 teams on real-life water cases, formulated and supported by local and international case owners. The finals were organised aligned to the World Water Day Celebration at the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat.   At the Awarding Ceremony, the jury congratulated all teams with the teamwork and the out-of-the-box solutions they presented. The winning team worked on Case 2, finding a solution for Groundwater resources management for future water resilience.   True Value of Water (TVW) - Team 2 worked on a PDO case to develop a straightforward and easy to implement method to assist water authorities to better characterize and allocate available groundwater resources in the Sultanate of Oman. What they developed is method based on a single, meaningful monetary unit, the True Value of...

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Working, working and Shisha at the End of the Night!

Muscat, Oman - 21 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 6 By Maryam Al Balushi (Petroleum Development Oman)   Today we were introduced to Rick Hogeboom, another Wetskills member, while  Johan went back to The Netherlands. Having him with us was really beneficial as he was a tremendous help for our water footprint case study. Described by Dr. Ahmed Al Busaidi as “A Google for Water Footprint” his presence will undoubtedly benefit all of us. We spent most of our time dedicated to working on the case study and developing the paper and poster, following that up with lunch in the faculty club. After coming back from lunch, Rick was nowhere to be found, he actually got lost in the campus! Fortunately Dr. Ahmed managed to find him to everyone’s relief. By the end of the day a tour around Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) campus was decided on to ensure no one gets lost again. At...

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Sultan Qaboos University Tour

Muscat, Oman - 20 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 5 By Rawabi Al Hajri (A'Sharqiyah University)   When you start to break the shy, and start to make relationship with others, it’s a nice step actually. In the beginning of the day all groups come with higher power to complete their work. Also I like the way of interchange information between every group. The most thing which caught my attention, every single group change their location. They go outside to the tree and nature. The groups moved from one place to another to allow people to feel refreshed and be able to think differently. This allowed them to come up with other ideas and brainstorm clearly. Suddenly we stopped worked because of lunch break, today we did something slightly different after lunch. We walked to Sultan Qaboos University botanic garden and getting some information about Omani plant, and we were interested. Then we went together...

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From holiday to an ‘enriching experience’

Muscat, Oman - 19 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 4 By Areej Al Ghaithi (Petroleum Development Oman)   I was on holiday, in a different time zone and I woke up to a message from my boss asking me to join Wetskills Oman 2019. In the beginning I was very confused as to what he meant by Wetskills, so I decided to take a look and do more research after I come back from my holiday. Two weeks later I was at the office applying for the Wetskills program. After going through the website and reading more about Wetskills, I was more intrigued and interested in joining the program. I joined Wetskills because of multiple reasons: My company being one of the case owners was very keen for us to join as participants as well Encouragement from Dr. Ahmed Al Busaidi and his continuous enthusiasm to having us as part of the program...

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Training Pitch and Poster

Muscat, Oman - 19 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 4 By Balqees Al Shaaibi (A'Sharqiyah University)   We start the day by Johan’s presentation about training pitch and poster. I learned what makes a good poster, what should not be on a poster and more over. We did many exercises and it was very useful for me. In addition, pitch training gives me a clear idea of how to do it in correct way. The discussion action plan changed our thinking way positively, we did many brainstorming and chose other pains and solutions. Also we writingand literature review belongs to our case work....

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Experiencing diversity

Muscat, Oman - 19 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 4 By Marwa Abdullah Al Mahdouri (Haya Water)   The new edition of the Wetskills program organized in Muscat, and hosted by Sultan Qaboos University synchronizing with World Water Day.  As participant in this program I was so excited to meet international friends and have 10 days full of work and sightseeing in my beautiful country. The field trip to Al Hazm castle and Nakhal fort along with some water areas has given the legend of the spectacular nature, culture and heritage of Oman. The Wetskills program for 19 March 2019 was to continue with our action plan. Morning discussion with the workshop leaders was very fruitful, as they have highlighted the main important points to be considered in our case study paper. The team has modified the initial action plan accordingly as per the paper requirements and distributed the task among each other. The team was...

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Working in office and on-site!

Muscat, Oman - 18 March 2019 - Wetskills Water Challenge Day 3 By Bart van der Ven (Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg & Nationaal Water Traineeship)   Today was an inspiring day, with both hard work “at the office” and interesting experiences in the field. The day started off with approximately one hour at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in which we worked really hard on our preliminary action plans. Actually, people were so focussed on their work that we almost missed our coffee break. Luckily, we were kindly reminded: “Hurry, hurry, hurry, go take your coffee break. Go go go!” As was stated by Paul at the planetarium later “I am really impressed by what I’ve seen from SQU so far: in this program everything runs in time!”. All credits for this go to Ahmed! After our speed-session at SQU we went to the Haya Wetlands. Haya is the largest institution in Oman for water treatment. And it does...

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