The MEDRC research program supports the scientific quest for solutions to fresh water scarcity in the MENA region. Our goal is to ensure MEDRC is a renowned catalyst for innovation in this field.

More efficient desalination, better water reuse and a shift to renewable technologies are urgently needed to enable us rise to the challenge of fresh water scarcity. Our research program is about bringing the best regional and global expertise together to help find solutions to that challenge. It is about developing the researchers of tomorrow – scientists from the region who will lead our efforts to secure safe, secure and sustainable water for the people of this region into the future.


MEDRC Water Research is a recognized regional center of excellence that boosts research on reverse osmosis (RO) membrane
technologies and renewable energies-based desalination and dealing with environmental impact concerns as well.

We aim specifically at conducting, facilitating, and promoting basic & applied research in the water desalination field.

MEDRC Water Research aims to become the regional hub for exchanging and transferring knowledge on the most innovative
and efficient technologies of desalination. Between and within the MENA countries, including MEDRC’s host country, Oman.


The Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge is a joint initiative led by MEDRC Water Research and The Research Council Oman with funding provided by The Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science.

With a winning prize purse of 700,000 USD the challenge seeks to create a hand-held, stand-alone, low-cost, desalination device for short-term use and rapid deployment following a humanitarian crisis.

Access to clean fresh drinking water following a disaster is critical to health and survival. Current relief response measures often rely on transporting massive quantities of bottled water into the affected population or distributing water purification devices or tablets that don’t have the ability to rid water of salt. There is an urgent need for a desalination device that can be deployed quickly and affordably to people in need of drinking water in times of crises.

No such product exists on the marketplace today.

Launched on March 7th 2018, the challenge will roll once a year for a period of five years or until the prize has been won.

The challenge is open to any individual, team or organization from across the world who believes they have a product capable of meeting this need.

Please visit for further details.



MEDRC is coordinating a global research effort to develop capabilities for remote sensing, modeling and forecasting to provide critical information to desalination plants about the presence and predicted transport pathways of harmful algal blooms.

This has resulted in the production of the world’s first guidance manual on HABs (MEDRC and UNESCO IOC). The objective of the manual is to help the desalination industry combat the threat that HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) pose to human health and the operation of their plants. MEDRC’s work in the field of HAB’s continues with the focus moving to securing the delivery of an early warning system capable of predicting the occurrence of HAB’s and issuing alerts to Omani desalination plants.

Launched at the International Desalination Association World Congress in São Paulo Brazil on October 17th, 2017 the HABs manual is available online to download by clicking here.


MEDRC created the ‘Young Omani Water Researchers Award’ to reward excellence in water research and to help inspire and motivate young Omani academics to engage in and pursue water research studies.

Held under the auspices of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water and supported by the Oman Water Society and The Research Council, the award provides an important platform from which MEDRC can support researchers and continue to foster important collaborative relationships with academic institutions. Sponsored by the Embassy for the Kingdom of The Netherlands to Oman and the Omar Zawawi Establishment L.L.C the inaugural award in 2017 was won by Ms. Manal Al Balushi for her paper ‘Water Loss Investigation in Muscat: Al Seeb Water Supply System – a case study’. Details of the application process for the 2018 Award will be announced here shortly


Our in-house research center has been built to offer a regional testing and training site for water treatment technologies and is open for collaborative projects with industry and academia and key water stakeholders. Current projects include research into brine disposal and solar powered brackish water desalination, conducted in partnership with the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and SQU, respectively.


Our research program recognizes the importance of international collaboration to the development of effective solutions to fresh water scarcity. MEDRC’s research networks and expert symposia are a critical element of our work in capacity building, and are employed to facilitate knowledge exchange, promoting best practice and exploring innovative and emerging advancements in water treatment technologies.


MEDRC has launched an Omani Desalination Research Network.

The network has a clear mandate to explore the possibilities for environmentally sustainable water desalination in Oman and the viability of its use. The network offers expert members a platform from which they can increase the visibility of their research, identify who is doing what, boost synergies and build collaborative works and joint projects. In addition, this hub will identify good practices for the improvement of desalination technologies in terms of energy cost and environmental impact reduction.


The Alumni Lecture Series offers MEDRC Alumni the opportunity to present their research outputs to a distinguished audience of water actors in Oman.

MEDRC recognizes and supports excellence in water research in universities in the MENA region and has long believed that investing in talented students will have a hugely beneficial impact on the regions ability to work towards a secure and sustainable supply of water for all. Alumni networking events and support programs help to foster the professional skills of MEDRC Fellows and encourage collaborative research efforts beyond their fellowship period.





Working with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), MEDRC organized and hosted a 3-day workshop on desalination, attended by representatives from 10 IDB member states.
The agenda was designed to facilitate open dialogue allowing participants to learn from each other’s perspectives and experiences. The workshop aims to establish a framework for future collaboration between MEDRC and IDB, having identified support requirements and areas where their combined resources and expertise could respond to specific needs.
Read more…

Organizing and facilitating workshops is in keeping with MEDRC’s goal to act as a catalyst for change.
This workshop explored how the WEF concept could be applied to the socio-economic benefit of the Maghreb countries. Organized in collaboration with the Regional Program on Energy Security and Climate Change in the Middle East and North Africa (REMENA) of the German Foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the International University of Rabat (Morocco).
Read more…

MEDRC are working to reach a global standard to permit accurate comparisons of the cost of producing fresh water from desalination facilities around the world.
Recommendations from the costing conference held at MEDRC in 2017 will be used to structure an international conference on the subject later this year.
Read more…


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