sustainable-development-goals - mrmwr

Sustainable Development Goals

 Sustainable Development Goals

Report of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
The 6th Goal of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030


The water resources in the Sultanate have received considerable attention since the beginning of the modern Renaissance in the early nineties because of the country's dependence on groundwater and rainfall mainly due to the geographical location and climatic. Over the past four decades, the doubling of water demand has been attributed to the use of productive sectors such as agriculture, industry and to the economic, social and urban development. This has been accompanied by a renaissance in the field of human development, which the government has given great attention to achieving the objectives of sustainable development and to make the Sultanate among the developed countries. The Sultanate has made significant progress in the water and sanitation sectors. The country provides safe and good quality water to 98% of the population. The sanitation and hygiene services cover 97% of the households in the Sultanate. In 2014, the treated wastewater was 100%.The Sultanate has made significant strides in the field of integrated water resources management; however, there are some challenges that need to be overcome, including the exploitation of treated wastewater in the agricultural sector and the regulation and allocation of water quotas for different sectors.

The most important challenges facing the water sector

In the context of achieving the sustainable development goals 2030 and Oman 2040 vision, the water sector faces many challenges that must be overcome: limited natural water resources due to the Sultanate's position within the belt of arid and semi-arid countries and its reliance on annual rainfall to recharge the limited water resources. Additionally, Keeping pace with the economic, social and industrial development witnessed by the Sultanate, provision of future and increased water needs for the sustainability of the national economy, balancing water uses and renewable resources, conserving water resources from depletion and pollution and rebalancing the supply and demand through the promotion of water resources. Furthermore, provision of safe water for citizens, collection and reuse of treated wastewater and providing water security requirements, especially in times of drought. At the same time, achieving compatibility between water and food security, reducing water pollution, flood damage and the effects of drought, protection and rationalization of the use of available water resources, and reduction of water losses to enhance these resources. In addition, confronting salinity and deterioration of groundwater quality in coastal parts (Batinah and Salalah coasts), low economic value of water used for agriculture, using advanced irrigation techniques, selecting suitable crops to reduce irrigation water, developing aflaj systems, and raising awareness of the importance of rationalizing water use in various sectors.

Policies & actions to meet challenges

As part of the policies to preserve and use water resources in an optimal manner that will ensure their sustainability for future generations and as an essential element of Oman economic diversification strategy announced at Oman Conference 2020 which held in 1995, the Sultanate has adopted a plan and strategy for integrated management, sustainable development and conservation of water resources. The Sultanate considers the objectives and recommendations of the sustainable development symposium on the integrated water resource management in the agriculture sector (2007).

The plan focused on achieving the following objectives :-

  • Providing water security requirements especially in times of drought
  • Ensure the availability of water resources to meet the requirements of building a modern economy for future generations.
  • Raise and improve the quality of life and health conditions.
  • Provide the maximum protection for water-based environment components.

With the need to protect investments in water infrastructure. Although this plan was prepared for the Ministry of Water Resources, it took into account the role of other relevant government authorities as well as the private sector in achieving the desired objectives at the Sultanate level. The plan adopted a number of measures and procedures related to water resources, including special procedures for supply and demand management, the most important of which are  :-

  • Lack of expansion of agricultural land
  • Implementation of a number of studies on water demand management, for example, water balance calculation project, integrated management project and other studies.
  • Construction of dams to increase underground reservoir recharge.
  • Coordinate with relevant authorities to install modern irrigation systems to rationalize water consumption.
  • Reliance on treated wastewater in irrigation of landscapes, and ornamental trees as well as for industrial purposes.
  • Implementation of exploratory drilling projects and experimental pumping to find new water sources.
  • Implementation of Aflaj maintenance projects and drilling of auxiliary wells for drought-prone aflaj.
  • Establishing a hydrometric monitoring network to monitor the water situation.
  • Implementing many awareness programs on the importance of rationalizing the consumption of water resources
  • Updating the laws and regulations of well drilling permits.

Sustainable management of natural resources "Water"

Good water management is a major challenge, especially because of unequal distribution of time and space for water, urbanization, pollution and climate change. However, demand for water is increasing in order to meet needs. Water is a shared resource and its management need to take into account a wide range of conflicting interests and cooperation opportunities between users and consumers. Since 1989, the Sultanate has endeavored to consolidate the application of the principles of natural resources integrated management in general and water in particular to protect water wealth from depletion and ensure its sustainability for future generations. This is part of the implementation of a national strategy for the sustainable development of water resources management. The sustainable management has adopted the concept of linking water quality and quantity, taking into consideration the hydrological, ecological, social and institutional systems, especially the limits of aquifers (capacities of underground reservoirs) and watersheds, based on the following main pillars :- 

  • Evaluate and determine the availability of water resources,
  • Water supply management (provision of additional water resources)
  • Water demand management,
  • Institutional framework reforms,
  • Implementation of laws and regulations,
  • Training and human capacity building,
  • Water use rationalization and public awareness.

Assessing the current status of sixth goal

The sixth goal of sustainable development calls for ensuring universal, equitable and affordable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. It also aims to improve water quality, increase the efficiency of its use and integrated and sustainable management. According to Oman 2040 vision, this objective is directly linked with

Drinking water

Providing safe and affordable drinking water to all citizens is one of the sixth goal indicators of the sustainable development 2030, which is required to achieve the access of 98% of urban households and 88% of rural areas to safe drinking water according to the highest international standards (WHO standards). Desalinated water represents more than 86% of total drinking water needs. Desalinated water is one of the strategic options to cover drinking water needs. The production of desalinated water increased from 196 million cubic meters in 2011 to 311 million cubic meters by the end of 2018. Other sources of drinking water, such as wells, contribute to approximately 14%. According to the master plan of the water sector in 2040, the Public Authority for Water in coordination with the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company proceed with the desalination projects by developing plans to expand the existing desalination plants and establish new desalination plants by involving the private sector in investment to cover the growing demand for water. Desalination plants are major projects that contribute significantly to enhancing the water security of the Sultanate.

The Sultanate aims to develop its various systems and activities, increase the reliability of water supply, increase operational efficiency, upgrade services and implement strategies to develop and raise the efficiency of human resources. In addition, it aims to upgrade the customer services, health, safety and environment, information technology, water quality and project management. Moreover, a strategy for the water lost was prepared, which contributed to reducing the percentage of losses from (43.4% in 2010 to 23% in 2018). On the other hand, contingency strategy and plans have been prepared in cooperation with other concerned authorities in the country.

Sanitation services

Sanitation and hygiene services cover more than 98% of the population in cities and 97% in rural areas. Till 2018, 68 wastewater treatment plants which produce (94 million cubic meters / year) of treated wastewater. About 61% of this amount is used in agriculture, afforestation, refrigeration, and injection of coastal aquifers. Through the National Strategy for the Utilization of Treated Wastewater 2040, the Sultanate is seeking to expand the construction of sewage treatment plants and the extension of sewerage lines at a cost of $ 7 billion ($ 381 million per year). It is hoped that the utilization of total treated water in 2030 raises to (around 244 million cubic meters) and (338 million cubic meters) in 2040. The National Strategy for the Utilization of Wastewater also includes the mechanisms and programs related to the utilization of this renewable resource in the recharge of underground reservoirs and industrial and agricultural uses in order to raise the efficiency of water use in the Sultanate.

Water quality control

Since 2014, 100 per cent (100 %) of wastewater has been collected and treated, which contributes significantly to reducing groundwater pollution and increasing of the recycling and reuse, as a growing non-conventional water source of more than one million cubic meters per day that can be exploited to address the water scarcity by 2040. Water quality monitoring programs are one of the main pillars of the evaluation and management of water resources. The Sultanate has made great strides in this area. Based on the indicator (6-3), the Sultanate achieved (75%) in the index score where monitoring programs are carried out in many water basins by measuring the monitoring points periodically and maintaining them in a basic database.

Water stress and increasing water use efficiency

Under the current water pressure, estimated at 128%, the Sultanate seeks to ensure the sustainable withdrawal and supply of freshwater by 2030 through finding a balance between supply and demand and expanding the use of non-conventional water (treated wastewater) currently being used In feeding some coastal aquifers. By implementing Water Demand Management policies, changing crop composition and traditional irrigation systems, the Sultanate seeks to increase the efficiency of current water use (estimated at US $ 47 / m3), with an emphasis on the agriculture sector, which represents the largest consumer of water (83%) of total uses.

Degree of IWRM implementation (0 to 100)

Based on the United Nations questionnaire on the IWRM implementation, the indicator shows the current situation of the Sultanate at (34%). The Sultanate has made tremendous headway in terms of enabling the institutional environment, national policies, legislation, regulations, national control systems and funding. Through Oman Vision 2040, the Government continues to achieve sustainable development goals of 2030.

Protection and preservation of wetlands

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman seeks to secure the water resources of all economic sectors and all citizens and residents, enhance food security and energy for development, prosperity and preservation of natural resources provided by wetlands, including water and its rational consumption, as well as protection of human health, diversification of national economy and enhancement of the livelihoods of the population. In this regard, the Sultanate has acceded to the Ramsar Convention in 2012. Through the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, it has sought to develop a common vision for the conservation and management of wetlands among all government agencies and civil society. The Sultanate is keen to apply the best practices in wetland conservation and rational use, prevent or minimize degradation of wetlands and restore degraded wetlands. It applies effective and sustainable means to increase groundwater and surface water storage, implement programs to improve water quality, maintain agriculture, Biodiversity. Furthermore, it has also implemented specific programs on communication, education and public awareness to achieve the participation of major stakeholder groups and the adoption of strategic and operational tools for the full implementation of the Ramsar Convention through local and national actions as well as the continuous international cooperation in this area.

Values of Sustainable Development Indicators 2030
(Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources - Water Sector)

Goal Target Indicator Value of indicator at the national level 2018 m
Goal 6: Clean Water and hygiene
6 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.   6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services (98%) of urban households and 88% of rural households.
6 6.2 By 2030, achieve universal access to sanitation and hygiene services for all, elimination of open defecation and paying special attention to the needs of women, girls and those living in vulnerable situations by 2030 6.2.1 Percentage of population benefiting from the proper management of sanitation services, including hand-washing facilities with soap and water (98%) of the population in cities and (97%) in rural areas
6 6.3 Improve water quality by pollution abatement, eliminating dumping of hazardous wastes and chemicals, minimizing their leakage, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.   6.3.1 Proportion of safely treated wastewater   100%
6.3.2 Percentage of water masses with good ambient water quality.    (75%) of groundwater quality monitoring programs
6 6.4 By 2030, achieve a significant increase in water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.   6.4.1 Change in water use efficiency over a period of time   Water Use Efficiency ($ 47 / m3)
6.4.2 Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources % 128
6 6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through trans-boundary cooperation as appropriate.     6.5.1 Degree of implementation of integrated water resources management (0-100) % 38
6.5.2 Proportion of trans-boundary basin areas with an operational arrangement for water cooperation.   Not Applicable
6 6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes, by 2020. 6.6.1 Percentage of change in the range of water-related ecosystems over a period.  Specialty of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (Ramsar Convention)
6 6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water use efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies 6A.1  Amount of official development assistance related to water and sanitation, which is part of a government-coordinated spending plan Not Applicable  
6 6.b Supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management. 6.b.1 Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management Hayah Sewage Company   Salalah Sanitary Drainage Services Co