Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

OFNZ Presenting at Dubai Expo 2020’s Coming Full Circle | Water-Food-Energy Summit

Monday, January 17th, 2022

Dubai Expo 2020’s Water-Food-Energy (WFE) Summit, hosted in association with the United Nations, runs over 18 & 19 January 2022 at Expo’s Nexus for People & Planet venue. OFNZ Director & Co-Owner Lesley Kennedy is presenting as a panelist between 12.00pm and 12.30pm on Day Two of the Summit which focuses on the WFE nexus for Sustainable Development Goals, under the headline of Water-Food-Energy in Today’s World. Lesley will be sharing some of the learnings from our research into agricultural water-use and water-balance in hyper-saline and hyper-arid environments and joins Dr. Tarifa A Alzaabi, Acting Director General, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), and Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network) for the session.

Dubai’s Museum of the Future

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

In a city renowned for its spectacular architecture, the Dubai Museum of the Future is our favourite. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, it’s an incredible example of creativity, innovation and imagination. Or to wrangle the cliche a little, it’s a great expression of thinking outside of the oval.

Created for the Dubai Future Foundation, the Museum of the Future contains exhibitions on innovative design and its dynamic form represents the Dubai government’s view of the future. You’ll find it alongside Dubai’s elevated train line, not far from Dubai’s arguably most famous building, the Burj Khalifa

 The torus-shaped Museum building forms a ring around a void representing unknown knowledge. The torus shape is also designed to communicate the perpetual energy of the city.

The exterior is covered with windows that form a poem by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, about his vision for the city’s future, written in Arabic calligraphy.

One of the reasons we love working in the UAE is because its leadership and people celebrate imagination, innovation, and thinking big. As its architecture suggests, the UAE is a bold country with a bold vision of its future and its place in the world. Perhaps we could learn something from our partners in this proud Gulf nation.



Salt Leachate Project – Year 2

Sunday, October 24th, 2021

It’s great to be back in the field in the UAE with Mansoor al Tamimi, and Wasel Abou Dahr from Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD).The second year of our research into Salt Leachate from irrigation, across three different water sources, Groundwater, RO-Brine and Aqua-Brine. It was unseasonably hot work (who says climate change isn’t happening!) last week, de-installing the equipment from the first year’s experiment. High temperatures and humidity took a bit of getting used to after NZ’s cooler climes. Big thanks to Sara Al Hussaini for lending a helping hand in the field.

Our project is in partnership with Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), and The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (PFR) and is aimed at determining the water balance for halophytic crops across the three different water treatments. Why is that important? It is about effectively using water from different sources to grow commercial crops, while minimising the amount of salt and nutrients leaching back into the aquifers/groundwater – aiming for sustainable growth while minimising environmental impact in hyper-arid environments.


Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Saudi Arabia is building a zero-carbon city at NEOM in a $500 billion business zone called The Line, aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter. The city will be located in Saudi Arabia’s north west. When constructed, it will extend over 170 km and be able to house a million residents in carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy. The spectacular and diverse terrain for NEOM is sheltered by mountains and cooled by the Red Sea. More than 450 km of coastline with beaches and coral reefs, as well as mountains up to 2,500m high are found in this region. With 40% of the globe located less than fours from the city, and 10% of the world’s trade flowing through the Red Sea, the Kingdom envisages NEOM contributing $48b to the country’s economy by 2030.