Alterra was presenting during the International Water Submit in Abu Dhabi 15-17th January the Global Innovation Oasis. The Global Innovation Oasis is a concept developed by Alterra to integrate the Dutch working concept of Metropolitan Food Cluster to oil rich- water poor countries. We also call it the Water Energy Food nexus. The basic idea is that water is needed to produce energy and food, energy is necessary to produce water and food, and we all need food. But these 3 aspects are under great threats of different and changing nature.
We hope to meet enlightened and courageous local decision-makers to address this challenge and to transform oil & gas by-products and waste to generate water for irrigation and fertile soil. Then, step by step, nature will green the desert. And we will develop a green economy. Technically this is not that difficult if production processes up-stream and down-stream are properly understood; culturally speaking it is another story…..
We promote the reuse of processed water and cooling water used in Oil and Gas production (and refinery) to produce water of a satisfactory quality that can be used to irrigate indigenous plants from arid regions. These plants can grow with little amount of water and are salt tolerant. Likewise, oil-polluted soil can become a compost onto which plants will grow and ecosystems will develop.
This is not rocket science and we are not claiming to make miracle. Eventually Mother Nature has the final words (alongside with economist). Eventually we will team up to set-up a demonstration plant.
Dr Philippe A Ker Rault-Vreugdenhil