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A new opportunity

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David Escobar Gutiérrez
Partner of Smart Water Magazine.

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    We interview H.E. Eng. Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al-Abdulkareem, Governor of SWCC and Chairman of the Board of WTTCO. Credit: WTTCO

We managed to leave behind 2020, a year marked by the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty it generated across the board. Priorities have shifted, placing basic needs at the forefront. In this regard, water and sanitation services have been shown to be critical in many geographies that took them for granted.

But we also started a year where this crisis can be seen as an opportunity: “Lessons learned from other crises suggest that these can offer important opportunities for advancing crucial WSS reforms and water investments," says Gustavo Saltiel, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank, in this issue. The multilateral organisation is working on the "Building Back Better" programme with the aim of improving the policy, institutional and regulatory systems involved in water resources management, promoting resilience and sustainability.

These two concepts, resilience and sustainability, are two of Schneider Electric's leitmotifs. Valerie Houchin, Sales Team Leader, Energy & Sustainability Services, explains in an interview how the company partners with its customers to achieve these two goals using digital transformation as leverage.

Organisations, whether government bodies or businesses, must focus on reducing the use of resources and ensure they have the tools that enable them to adapt swiftly to the changing times we live in.

If there is one region in the world where they are aware of the importance of the concepts we are talking about, it is the Middle East.

Last November, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdul-Rahman bin Abdul-Mohsen Al-Fadhli, announced the creation of the Water Transmission and Technologies Company (WTTCO).

The company aims to build and manage water conveyance assets, separately from the water treatment assets managed by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC). Currently, WTTCO projects amounting to US$10 billion are already being implemented. In line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, this new company is part of the privatisation model of the National Water Strategy.

The cover of this issue of Smart Water Magazine Bimonthly features H.E. Eng. Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al-Abdulkareem, Governor of SWCC and Chairman of the Board of WTTCO. In a comprehensive interview, he describes the expected benefits of this move: attracting investors, increasing private participation, creating a competitive environment for new investments, reducing costs and achieving operational excellence. A new opportunity in an industry that continues to look ahead.

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