Damascus-SANA

Under the title of investment in the water and electricity sectors, the University of Damascus organized today an interactive discussion symposium, with the participation of representatives of the relevant colleges and ministries, with the aim of exchanging ideas and opinions, and presenting proposals that help develop a road map for investment projects in these sectors.

The symposium discussed renewable electrical energies, their support, the preparation of supporting legislation, the impact of climate change on water resources, and investment in water services.

The Minister of Electricity, Engineer Ghassan Al-Zamil, noted the need to highlight investment in renewable energies and the Ministry’s role in supporting this vital sector because of its great impact on developing the reality of the electrical energy sector in Syria, indicating that a plan will be developed to implement the outcomes of this symposium.

Assistant Director General of the National Energy Research Center, Dr. Younis Ali, spoke about the necessity of dialogue between academic parties at the University of Damascus and those concerned from the governmental aspect, to present ideas and benefit from them by formulating policies and amending legislation to encourage investment in the field of electricity, especially renewable energies, and to come up with recommendations and proposals to develop its current reality.

The Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Damascus, Dr. Mustafa Hazouri, saw the importance of the symposium in discussing the electricity and water sectors, which suffer from a shortage of resources, in order to present some ideas that can be used to compensate for the shortage and open the door for investment to revitalize them, and to focus on the field of renewable energies as they are considered the solution. The closest thing to making up for the shortfall.

In turn, the Assistant Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Jihad Kanaan, gave a presentation on investment in the water and water resources sector and the challenges it faces, especially the war on Syria and the resulting massive damage to water infrastructure, and the unilateral coercive measures that led to a decline in the human and logistical capabilities of operating institutions. In the sector, indicating that there is an opportunity to achieve sustainability, food security, and restore balance to the natural water system.

Khawla Mansour, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Damascus, presented the climate changes that threaten water resources and pose a major challenge to life and development, most notably the decrease in rainfall, the increase in temperatures, and the increased frequency of drought with the increase in demand for water, as a result of population shifts to certain areas.

The attendees’ interventions focused on ways to raise the efficiency of energy use in all its forms, achieve a balance between the prices of petroleum derivatives and electricity, reduce taxes on renewable energy equipment, find a solution to the high cost of generating electricity, qualify trained scientific technical personnel, benefit from the surplus electricity produced from solar energy during the day, and equip... Buildings to install energy panels and support electricity generation from hydro sources.

The interventions also touched on how to address the problem of groundwater depletion, raise the efficiency of water use, tighten control over well drilling operations, publish community awareness campaigns to rationalize water consumption, and reactivate the rain seeding project with the competent authorities and harvest rainwater.

Amjad Al-Sabbagh and Yara Shaheen

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