Leading national and international researchers, scientists and stakeholders gathered virtually in attendance of the fifth International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF) to address global water and sustainability issues, hosted by the UAE 25-36 January.
In his keynote speech at the panel discussion titled "Outlook for Global Water Security in the Light of Climate Change", Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment warned that climate change will begin to generate water stress in parts of the world which currently have sufficient access to water resources.
On maximising existing water resources, he said: “In addition to the introduction of green building and product standards, building retrofit initiatives, and water tariff reform, government authorities have been running awareness campaigns to promote behavioural change among consumers.”
The two-day virtual event in late January was hosted by the UAE National Centre of Meteorology through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science and was structured to aid discussion surrounding the use of rain enhancement for water security purposes.
Online sessions explored the worsening effects of climate change in recent years on global water security, with a particular focus on the scarcity of water resources in the Arabian Gulf region as a result of low rainfall and droughts.
A session on “Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent System Applications in Meteorology and Rain Enhancement" included presentations from high-level experts on the scientific and technological advancements which could be used to support rain enhancement, including research on modernised computing strategies with cloud-seeding operations using unmanned aerial vehicles, and meteorological research.