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Water Institute for Research and Education (W.I.R.E.)

As you already know, MOHA Research Center's mission is to act as a hub between the Arab and other cultures of the Mediterranean and the Western world, promoting the study, achievements, knowledge and understanding of Arab culture in the fields of Science, Art, Philosophy, History and Culture and emphasizing their influence on the development of the Western thought. One of the major elements that characterize and connect these civilizations is the relationship of people with the natural environment and particularly with the element of water.

Undoubtedly, fresh water is the most important resource for mankind in all social, economic and environmental activities. It is a prerequisite for all life on our planet, a necessary condition for every social and technological development, a potential source of prosperity or misery, of cooperation or conflict.

The main issues associated with water are referring to the protection of vulnerable water systems, the mitigation of the risks, such as floods and droughts, to ensure access to water services and operations and to the management of water resources in an integrated and fair way.

Based on the above, and given the relationship between cultures and people of the East that address MOHA, water is worth a separate sector. For this purpose we created a Research Center under the auspices and accordingly to the scientific areas of MOHA.

The W.I.R.E. - Water Institute for Research and Education, is based on the priorities of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. The W.I.R.E. treats water issues related to hydrological changes in a changing environment, tackling water scarcity and water quality control, eco-hydrology, culture and education, modern technologies, international water policy and water economics.

The Scientific and Research activities will be realized through:
- scientific studies and providing expertise
- training seminars for the general public
- conferences / lectures / workshops
- cooperation with international, national and local scientific and social organizations
- participation in research projects
- participation in activities of common interest with MOHA

The W.I.R.E. includes the following Scientific sectors:
- Water Management and Erosion Monitoring (Coordinator, Prof N. Katopodis)
- Water Storage and Water Health (Coordinator, Assos. Prof. D. Kaziolas)
- Ecohydrology, Water Education and Culture (Coordinatior, Dr V. Iakovoglou)
- New Technologies and Water (Coordinator, Assist. Prof. G. Mallinis)
- Water Law and Policy, Water Economics (Coordinator, Prof. V. Kazana)

The Scientific Committee is composed of the following:
Prof. D. Emmanouloudis, Director of the W.I.R.E. (Management control and Utilization of Mountainous Water)
Assist. Prof. G. Zaimes, Deputy Director of the W.I.R.E. (Water Resources Management, Conservation Practices and Riparian Areas)
Dr D. Zavraka (Water Recreation)
Dr V. Iakovoglou (Ecohydrology and Ecophysiology)
Dr K. Ioannou (Hydroinformatics)
Prof. V. Kazana (Water Economics)
Assos. Prof. D. Kaziolas (Sustainable design and Ecofriendly Constructions)
Assos. Prof. K. Kalambouka (International Water Policy and Law)
Prof. N. Katopodis (Hydraulics and Hydromodeling)
Dr. Th. Kolydas (Atmosphere Dynamics)
Dr. M. Lychounas (Water Culture)
Assist. Prof. G. Mallinis (GIS and Remote Sensing)
Dr M. Roussi (Water Education)
Prof. Th. Spanos (Water Quality and Health)
Prof. J. L. Garcia Rodriguez (Water Erosion Monitoring and Control)

The W.I.R.E. is structured as following:

According to the purposes that it serves and promotes, and within its area of expertise, the W.I.R.E. is entitled to create, upon request of national bodies, annexes that address the above disciplines.

Our initial thought was to propose the creation of an Institute of Excellence at the State of Kuwait - Institute of Excellence for Water Research in Desert Conditions, that would operate either in collaboration with the already existing bodies or by its own capacity, always with respect and in accordance to national priorities. This Institute of Excellence will focus on water in desert conditions through three axes: Education, Research and Practical Applications.

The team that will participate in the creation of this center of excellence is consisting of high level academics and faculty members from Greece and the U.S. specializing in drought conditions. Most of them are members of the W.I.R.E., as well as teaching staff of the MSc in Management of Water Resources of the Mediterranean. More specifically, team members have long worked in Egypt on the management model of the Nile, while others have worked on the construction of water storage (Jordan) and have collaborated in the past with various Universities and Institutions in the Middle East (University of Maan, Jordan - Hashemite University, Jordan - BADIA Research Institute, Jordan - Sultan Qaboos University, Oman - NWRC Institute, Egypt - University of Zonguldak, Turkey - University of Artvin, Turkey - Jordan Ministry of Public Works and Housing, etc) for the completion of projects.

The specializations of the team cover the following disciplines:
• Ephemeral Water Management
• Desertification and Denudation Mitigation
• Hydrologic Modeling
• Hydroinformatics
• Ecohydrology
• GIS
• Remote Sensing
• Atmosphere physics and meteorology
• Climate change modelling
• Small-scale technical and Agrotechnical works
• Landscape architecture and gardening in salted and arid environments
• Precision agriculture
• Distance learning techniques
• Managing Water Scarcity
• Water Quality and Human Health

The potential activities of the Institute of Excellence for Water Research in Desert Conditions are structured as the following:

Α. Education/Training
- Short cycle basic knowledge informal seminars on drinkable water health and quality, precision agriculture, farming, gardening etc. through distance learning techniques available to remote populations
- Formal learning programs related to water issues: available to higher education students and local scientists
- MSc programs related with water issues

The aim of the MSc (Postgraduate Studies) is the management and policies of Water Resources in worldwide contexts of water scarcity, especially under desert conditions. The main objective of the MSc is to provide education and training on issues such as smart and cheap constructions of water storage under scarcity conditions, quality control and sanitary improvement of water, the use of modern tools (GIS, informatics, remote sensing) for adaptive watershed management and to promote and built in networking in water issues.

Β. Research
- Research for innovative solutions for water storage through In situ experiments in the desert
- Research in agriculture under desert conditions
- Creation of climate and hydrological models for the accurate prediction of future hydroclimatic conditions
- Creation of atmospheric diagnostic models for predicting the movement of air and its effect on dust transportation and deposition
- Participation in international calls and research programmes

C. Practical Applications
- Smart, simple and cheap solutions for securing water through applications that have already been tested in extreme arid conditions in Greece
- Building neighborhood networks focused on water related issues
- Intervening and solving practical problems of remote populations (teleconsulting) on water management, leakage and contamination issues
- The conception, implementation and supervision of applied projects such as the creation of gardens in the desert / saltgardens in coastal areas (Saliland), crop plants in the desert with the help of pilot devices, etc.