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ConocoPhillips’ Global Water Sustainability unveils interactive booth at Qatar Petroleum’s Environment Fair

Demonstrating its unwavering commitment to the environment, ConocoPhillips’ Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC) participates in Qatar Petroleum’s (QP) 8th annual Environment Fair 2014 from 23rd – 26th April at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

ConocoPhillips’ GWSC booth received a visit from His Excellency Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman QP, Dr.Saif Ali Al-Hajri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Friends of Environment Center, and Dr. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, President of Qatar University. Their Excellencies were welcomed by Gary Sykes, president, ConocoPhillips Qatar, along with members of the Global Water Sustainability Centre team. Their Excellencies toured the stand where they were briefed on ConocoPhillips’ water sustainability investments in Qatar.

The QP Environment Fair is a highly successful yearly event that involves a number of companies and organizations in Qatar to present their various Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives towards the environment. Adhering to this year’s theme “Water in the Oil & Gas Industry” the GWSC utilized its interactive booth to demonstrate to school children how the water cycle works in the eco-system and what they can do to conserve water and promote sustainability in Qatar.

Gary Sykes, president, ConocoPhillips Qatar, commented on GWSC’s participation in this year’s edition of Environment Fair, “As always, we strive to show our commitment to the environment. We acknowledge the challenges that face the region in terms of water scarcity, and for this reason we founded GWSC to place water on the global agenda and to highlight the importance of addressing Qatar’s long term water requirement in order to help fulfill the National Vision 2030.”

To simplify the concept to school students, the booth was designed to represent the eco-system.. One of the shows utilizes dry ice to demonstrate the different states of water from solid to liquid and gas; as well other activities where children can experiment with water. In addition to expanding their creativity in water conservation, children learn about the stages of the water cycle in an interactive manner that captivates their interest and attention. To end on a high note, each child receives items that they make themselves, as part of the “make and take” activities that include a density stacker tube which shows the different densities of water and oil as well as a rubber ball that looks like the planet earth.

Apart from the engaging activities with children and youth, the GWSC is taking part in the Environment Fair’s knowledge sharing sessions. GWSC’s research scientist Ms. Eman Al-Shamari took the stage yesterday to present ‘Advanced Technologies for Produced Water Treatment’. Dr. Zaid K. Chowdhury, GWSC’s newly appointed director will be giving a talk today, April 24 from 5:45 – 6:15 PM about “Promoting Water Sustainability in Qatar” on stage 3. His presentation will cover framing the water sustainability issue, water resources in Qatar, water and wastewater treatment and ideas for promoting water sustainability.

Dr. Chowdhury took over from Dr. Samer Adham, who managed the center since its inauguration in 2010. Dr. Adham has recently been assigned to ConocoPhillips Houston, Texas to manage the Water Solutions group. As the manager of this group, Dr. Adham oversees a multi-regional team located in Texas, Oklahoma, and the Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC) in Doha.

During Dr. Adham’s tenure in Qatar, GWSC won many awards for its significant impact on water research in Qatar, including first prize in Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference (ARC 2013) for their membrane distillation poster, as well as receiving a grant from Qatar Foundation’s Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) for its proposal on the application of forward osmosis to reduce produced water injection volumes in Qatari gas fields.

Prior to Dr. Chowdhury’s new assignment as the GWSC director, he held a position as a Senior Vice President and Director of applied research at Malcolm Pirnie, the water division of ARCADIS USA Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Arizona and has more than 25 years of experience in conducting engineering studies and research. He received his license as a Board Certified Environmental Engineer from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, recognising his extensive experience in water quality related research.

Apart from his successful managerial endeavors, Dr. Chowdhury also brings a multitude of expertise in environmental research; publishing over 30 peer-reviewed publications and more than 150 presentations and conference papers. His wide knowledge and expertise will help enhance environmental research in the region and take it to the next level.

Mr. Gary Sykes, ConocoPhillips President said, “The entire ConocoPhillips team is delighted to welcome Dr. Zaid Chowdhury. Dr. Zaid’s extensive background in water treatment processes means that he will bring perspectives and dynamism of water research to the company and will ensure the continued accomplishments of the GWSC in Qatar.” He added, “I would like to thank Dr. Samer Adham for all of his efforts to make the GWSC ConocoPhillips’s designated center of excellence for water and we wish him all the best of luck in his new responsibilities in the company.”

Dr. Zaid Chowdhury, newly appointed managing director, GWSC expressed his eager anticipation to take up the exciting and challenging position: “I am very excited to assume this new role, I look forward to bringing my experience and work with the team of expert scientists here to create water solutions that will contribute to water sustainability in Qatar and adding value to the water research field globally.”

The Environment Fair is one of the many initiatives GWSC takes part in to spread awareness about water sustainability amongst Qatar’s youth. GWSC had recently launched a film competition amongst 19 schools in Qatar that promoted water conservation and tackled the issue of water scarcity in Qatar. The competition was a great success and prompted the possibility of launching the competition on a national level.

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