King Khalid University
On Monday, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of the Asir region, inaugurated the workshop titled 'The Role of Renewable Water in Economic Development'. The event was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and hosted by King Khalid University.
Upon his arrival, His Royal Highness was welcomed by King Khalid University Rector, His Excellency Prof. Faleh R. M. Al-Solamy, and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture for Water Affairs, Professor Faisal Al-Subaie. At the beginning of the workshop, His Royal Highness briefed the participants on the importance of renewable water resources. He also explained how sustainable water development is an integral component of the Kingdom's economic development programs as set forth in Vision 2030 and its accompanying approved objectives.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, His Royal Highness noted that this was one in a series of workshops on the subject. Recently, Bisha University hosted His Royal Highness for a similar event. His Royal Highness explained that the workshops held at Bisha University and King Khalid University are a pilot program for a collaborative effort among relevant authorities and stakeholders that can raise awareness and affect environmental policy. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is spearheading the effort as the issue is wholly within its jurisdiction. His Royal Highness thanked King Khalid University for its support and he also noted that institutions of higher learning play an essential role in educating the public on this and other important issues. His Royal Highness thanked and congratulated King Khalid University for its significant and unwavering commitment to environmental and other community service efforts.
Rector Al-Solamy then took the stage and welcomed His Royal Highness and all of the other participants. He stressed that water resources are precious to the Kingdom and an essential consideration for all future development plans and activities. He explained renewable water projects are a high priority for the Kingdom, and we are fortunate to have the domestic talent and expertise to implement these projects. He cited the efforts of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and King Khalid University in preserving and protecting the Kingdom's water supply.
Rector Al-Solamy then discussed several of the renewable water projects. The most important of which is the use of renewable water in agriculture and irrigation of public facilities. Rector Al-Solamy then asserted that the university is committed to raising awareness and educating the community on water resource usage. The university will also advance the body of knowledge concerning renewable water through high-level scientific research and development efforts.
Rector Al-Solamy: 'We, at King Khalid University, are doing our part to support intelligent and sustainable water usage in the Asir through education and scientific research'.
After that, the Undersecretary for Water Affairs at the Ministry, Dr. Faisal Al-Subaie, delivered a presentation on the vital statistics concerning expected water usage and sustainability requirements for the Kingdom under Vision 2030.
Central to the workshop was a discussion on existing renewable water efforts currently being conducted in Balqarn, Namas and Tanumah governorates.
Another critical point of discussion was the existing water pipeline from stations in Khamis Mushait and Abha running to various locations in the region. The current capacity is 150,000 cubic meters per day. The plan is to significantly increase capacity to supply additional farms, villages, and parks in around Asir. Work is expected to begin this year.
Of noteworthy mention is that the Asir region has ambitious short-term water sustainability objectives including:
- Reuse of 150,000 cubic meters of water per day in Khamis Mushayt and Abha;
- Reuse of 31,000 cubic meters per day in Balqarn, Namas and Tanumah governorates;
- The development of natural areas in and around the cities to promote natural respiration and beautification;
- The development of intelligent distribution networks and subsurface irrigation;
- The expansion of afforestation programs in and around the region.
The General Directorate of Information Technology (IT) carried out a number of electronic community initiatives during the first semester of the 1439-40 academic year. As part of its community service program, initiatives included 'Asir Codes', 'Coding Hour', and the iT Internship Program. The Asir Codes Initiative is part of the Saudi Codes National Initiative, which is a cooperative program with the MiSk Foundation for Saudi youth development. The program aims to educate and teach the fundamentals of coding through virtual and practical classes to prepare trainees to become coding ambassadors in the Asir region. The initiative spanned 14 meetings and was divided between practical sessions held in the university and virtual classes online. Of note, the initiative included 317 trainees and 64 instructors while the number of attendees online represented 75% of the participants.
Held contemporaneously with the initiatives was the 'Asir Codes Instructor Certificate' program. Participants in this program engaged two or more people on the fundamentals of coding through an interactive website. Even more, they documented the process through an article or a picture, which resulted in the participation of 23 members.
CIO Alelyani: 'The iT Administration is working on a number of initiatives that will greatly benefit the community and contribute to the rise of electronic awareness in our society'.
During the 'Coding Hour Initiative', the iT team visited a number of elementary and middle schools as follows:
- 276 Students trained @ The 9th Elementary School and the 26th Elementary School in Abha;
- 252 Students trained @ Abha Fist Middle School, the 25th Middle School, and the 9th High School in Khamis Mushait.
Central to raising electronic awareness in the community is the first edition of the iT Internship Program. The program was developed to simulate real-life work environments that require creativity and a strong work ethic. It will allow interns to bring their solutions and ideas to life while working on cutting-edge technology. Through mentorship, guidance, and challenging projects, interns will be able to evaluate and understand their performance capabilities in the field. The one-year program includes a variety of areas, including: Application Development, Cybersecurity, Design, Digital Content, Digital Transformation, E-Commerce, Information Protection, Network Design, Project Management, Programming/Program Development, Quality and Documentation, Systems Analysis, Systems Architecture, Systems Integration, and Technical Support.
Personal interviews were conducted to elect the candidates for the internship program. A total of 17 qualified trainees were invited to join the program. The candidates were from various backgrounds such as computer science, information technology, and computer engineering backgrounds, as well as business and mathematics.
King Khalid University CIO, Dr. Salem Alelyani, said that the administration is working in accord with the vision of the university rector on many initiatives. Those initiatives, he noted, have and will continue to educate our communities and contribute to raising the level of electronic awareness in our society.