Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi

Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi |Clyto Access

Senior Scientist, International center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai


Expertise: Drought coping strategies, Management of different quality waters, Groundwater Management and Climate change adaptation.


Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi is a renowned expert in the field of irrigation and water management. He has over 30 years of experience in the development of water conservation strategies for the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Central Asia regions. His special interests include drought coping strategies, management of different quality waters, rehabilitation and management of salt-affected and waterlogged soils, groundwater management, and climate change adaptation. He has worked extensively in the field of on-farm water management to improve water productivity of different crops under different agro-climatic environments and evaluating the impact of wastewater irrigation for different crops and issues related to the solid waste management.Currently, he is working as Senior Scientist – Irrigation and Water Management at the International center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), based in Dubai. He is coordinating Africa region activities of the Center which includes promotion of small scale irrigation technologies and rehabilitation and management of salt-affected soils. He had long been associated with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in different scientific and management capacities in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Central Asia and Bangladesh. He is author of more than 100 scientific publications in journals international repute.



Title: Environmental management of solid waste and wastewater: Challenges and Opportunities


During the last century, world population tripled but water use increased six-fold. The world population is expected to increase over 9.0 billion by 2050, 34% higher than today. Alarmingly, almost all of this population increase is expected in developing countries where access to water for agriculture and domestic purposes is already under stress and 1.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Physical water scarcity is already affecting food production in the arid parts of the world, for example, in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recent and reasonable estimates suggest that to feed the increasing population in 2050, food production must increase by 70%. Annual cereal production will need to rise to 3 billion tons from 2.1 billion tons today whereas meat production must rise to over 200 million tones. To produce this amount of food, irrigated land must increase by 35% and 20% more water is diverted to agriculture. On the other hand, due to decreasing investments in irrigation and increasing environmental concerns, expansion of irrigation land will not be more than 5% and water diversions for irrigation are projected to decrease by 8% due to climate change and other management issues. 
Wastewater use for irrigation is being practiced in many countries such as China, Chile and Mexico. Egypt and Jordan are using wastewater, although on a limited scale but with prospects of increasing in future. In Syria, Yemen and Jordan, water harvesting is getting importance to collect water for local uses. Another non-conventional source of water is desalting sea water. However, due to high costs involved, its application is still very limited. Even in US, only one percent of their water demand is met through sea water desalinization. The cost of sea water desalinization ($ 1.50 per m3) is three times higher than the cost of treating brackish water ($ 0.60 per m3). However, in future, with the technological advances, costs are expected to come down. 
Currently, millions of tons of solid waste are produced daily. Most of this is not properly handled and causing serious environmental problems. According to UN estimates, some 2 million tons of waste per day are only disposed of in water bodies such as rivers, streams, lakes and canals. This waste includes industrial trash and chemicals, human waste, and agricultural runoff, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and pesticide residue. For sustainable development, there is an urgent need to take serious steps for safe disposal of solid waste. In many countries, solid waste is now processed for reuse in agriculture as a fertilizer and soil amendments to increase soil stability, improve water retention and improve soil properties. The green waste is being processed to produce Biochar and compost, which are used as soil amendments to improve soil fertility. However, there are challenges that needs to be tackled.    
This paper will highlight challenges and opportunities for the environment friendly management of solid waste and wastewater. The paper will also highlight the innovative practices being carried out in different parts of the world for the management of these two resources. 



Related Conferences :

World Summit on Recycling and Environmental Management