Socio-economic benefits of improved water-food-energy efficiency highlighted

Business Sunday 02/January/2022 15:39 PM
By: Times News Service
Socio-economic benefits of improved water-food-energy efficiency highlighted

Muscat: CC Energy Development (CCED) Managing Director Walter Simpson participated in the 8th Oman Energy Forum 2021, which brought together a host of experts to discuss the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus in Oman under the theme ‘How to find Sustainable & Holistic Solutions for Oman to Achieve Water-Food-Energy Security?’.

During the virtual workshop, participants discussed how all sectors should work towards the common goal of efficiently managing the WEF nexus.

The discussions highlighted the importance of the nexus at the national and governorates levels in Oman. In addition, participants discussed the reciprocal effects between the nexus and long-term growth trends.

Another key topic the forum explored is the need to set the right incentives for foreign direct investment and how to create an environment conducive to the formation and/or transformation of enterprises on a sustainable basis.

Speaking during the forum, Simpson highlighted that the energy industry has a key role to play and it is right in the centre of change and what is required is real intention and ownership from all stakeholders to come together, work as one team to address challenges and leverage opportunities.

Simpson said, “The hydrocarbons sector is resourceful and brings a lot of value to the table. We need to build trust with all stakeholders and we can achieve that by reducing our emissions and being transparent about the fact that we are working hard to do that. It’s about managing water sources effectively, and that may be reusing it or ensuring that saline water doesn’t contaminate areas. It’s also about being responsible with these resources and above all, I think it’s about working with the community and implementing solutions. This will ultimately help all industries across different areas of Oman.”

By 2050, experts anticipate the world’s population to reach 9 billion. By then, the water demand is expected to rise by 55 per cent and demand for food by 60 per cent. Experts also expect the world economy to be four times larger than today and that could be using up to 80 per cent more energy.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), access to WEF is linked throughout the world and play an important role in sustainable development, poverty reduction and human well-being. The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Index is a global composite indicator that aggregates 21 globally available indicators. The WEF Nexus Index value for Oman is 54.8, placing the nation in the 85th position for the countries assessed in 2021.

Simpson concluded, “Undoubtedly, as an industry, we’ve been very creative and we’ve solved some very difficult problems over the years. One of the biggest tools available to us and I don’t think it’s being explored to its full potential is a digitisation and using that data to get the needed efficiency when managing the WEF nexus and this will in turn secure and manage the supply of these resources by strengthening synergies and reducing trade-offs amongst various sectors.”