Water Resource Sector - mrmwr

Water Resource Sector

Introduction:

Water is a "national wealth", a concept stressed by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - may Allah protect him- and highlighted since the dawn of the renaissance and in the speech of His Majesty during the celebrations of the country's National Day on November 18, 1991. The government has adopted a plan to increase water wealth to meet the aspirations of the country in this regard without having to abandon the policies of rationalization, which will remain the true indicator to the ability of citizens to preserve water resources. We call upon you all to cooperate with the government in the implementation of plans and programs developed in this regard and we are confident that you will undoubtedly answer with this call in order to ensure our vast requirement for water both for agriculture or other sectors."

The Water Resources Protection Law was issued by Royal Decree No. (82/88) to establish the concept of water protection as a firm approach in the national policy for water resources management within the fundamental objectives of sustainable development. This legislative foundation for the water resources sector has been strengthened by several other laws, regulations and decisions, notably:

  • Royal Decree No. (29/2000) promulgating of Water Resources Protection Law.
  • Royal Decree No. (114/2001) promulgating Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law, which regulates the disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, environmental pollutants and untreated wastewater.
  • Wells and springs provisions regulating the use of desalination units on wells.
  • Ministerial decisions regarding protection zones of wells water supply fields in some regions of the Sultanate.

According to the concept of "water is a national wealth" and in line with the future vision of the Omani economy (Oman 2020), where the fifth paragraph of the vision direct efforts to develop water resources and preserve it through optimal exploitation as a vital element necessary for the sustainability of the economic development, the main objectives of water resources sector include the following:

  • Secure potable water sources and work to achieve a balance between water uses and renewable resources.
  • Development and conservation of water resources against depletion and pollution and rationalization of water consumption.
  • Establish the principles of water conservation and increase awareness of the importance of rational use.

In addition to these objectives, water policy included a number of other sub-objectives namely:

  • Continue the evaluation and development of water resources by continuing exploration and water studies and the search for new water sources.
  • Continue efforts to improve the rate of water harvesting and reduce the loss of natural waters through the establishment of dams and other water facilities in different governorates.
  • Work to ensure a balance in water use between sectors and the rationalization of consumption and raise awareness of the importance of conserving water resources.
  • Maintenance of falajs and assistant wells and other various water facilities.
  • Documentation of ownership, customs and falajs traditions.
  • Strengthen national capacities specialized in various water fields.

The importance of these main and sub-objectives is derived from the challenges and changes imposed by the water situation in the Sultanate in the present and future, namely:

  • Successive periods of drought experienced by the Sultanate from time to time.
  • Shortage in renewable water quantities in relation to the annual consumption quantities.
  • The increase in water demand among all users and the imbalance between supply and demand.
  • Lack of rationalization in water use and lack of awareness in this aspect.
  • Wasting large amounts of rainwater either by evaporation or loss to the sea.
  • The high cost of water projects especially dams projects for the development of water harvesting rates.