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Oman

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Oman

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Area: 5888268 km2
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Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $202,437,120.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $73,279,212.00 - [36%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $35,072,391.00 - [17%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $1,245,351.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $848,729.00 - [0%]
  • Water Scarcity: $58,251,917.00 - [29%]
  • Water Management: $33,739,520.00 - [17%]

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Estimated total internal renewable water resources stand at 1.4km3/yr. About 1.05km3 is surface water and 1.3km3 of groundwater, while 0.95km3 is considered to be overlap between surface and groundwater. There are several important aquifers in Oman. The main aquifer systems include the alluvial aquifers, the regional quaternary aquifers, the aquifers of the Hadramawt Group and the aquifers of the Fars Group. Some of these aquifer systems are part of large regional aquifers that extend throughout the Middle East. Fresh groundwater is mostly available in the northern and southern extremities of Oman where precipitation and recharge occur. Most of the groundwater in other areas is brackish to saline. There are several hundred springs in Oman and most of them are in the mountainous areas. The discharge, temperature and water quality of these springs varies. The main reliable source of water is internal groundwater. In nearly all wadis surface water runoff only occurs for some hours or up to a few days after a storm, in the form of rapidly rising and falling flood flows. Exceptions are some significant wadis like Dayqah and Quriyat that have an average flow of 60 million m3/yr, or Halfayn which covers a catchment area of 4,373 km2. Since the infiltration capacity of coarse alluvium and fissured rock is high, groundwater can be recharged quite easily. Oman has large amounts of water in aquifers that were replenished a long time ago when wet climate conditions prevailed. Present recharge is very low, if any. These non-renewable resources are in the Dhofar (Najd), Al Dahra (Al Massrat) and Sharqia (Rimal al Sharqia) regions. The government decided to use these aquifers to supply water for urban use and as a reserve for the future. Since 1985, 31 major recharge dams have been built together with many smaller structures to retain a portion of the peak flows, thus giving more scope for groundwater recharge. In 2006, the total dam capacity was 88.4 million m3. Desalination plants make an important contribution to water supplies where natural water resources are inadequate. Sea water desalination in Oman started to supply potable water to Muscat and the coastal area in the early 1970s. In 2002, the total installed gross desalination capacity (design capacity) was 322,579 m3/day or 118 million m3/yr. Total production is around 109 million m3/yr (2006), whereas it was 34 million m3 in 1995. The desalination plants should provide 80 per cent of the potable water supply. In 2000, total wastewater produced was 90 million m3. In 2006, 37 million m3 was treated and reused. The use of treated effluent is limited to landscape irrigation using sprinkler, drip and bubbler systems. The Muscat Municipality has major plans to extend its sewage collection and treatment system. At present, total water treatment in the municipality is about 25,000 m3/day, but in the near future 70,000 m3/day should be generated. There are treatment plants in each region. The recent water treatment station built in Salalah city (south of Oman) will produce about 40,000 m3/day. The effluent undergoes an effective tertiary treatment, one of the best in the world according to standards in this field.

1.1.2.WATER USE In 2003, a total of 13.21 million km3 of water was withdrawn, of which 88.4 per cent was for agriculture, 10.1 per cent for municipal purposes and 1.5 per cent for industry. The water balance shows that in many areas demand for water exceeds natural replenishment. For instance, in coastal areas, overwithdrawal has led to saline water intrusion and deterioration in water quality. At present, groundwater depletion is estimated at around 1.34 million km3/yr. As traditional water structures, the Al Zaijrah and Birkat systems have a particular importance in Oman. Al Zaijrah is a system in which water is extracted from a dug well, originally by using animals. This was the main traditional method of lifting water for agriculture from dug wells until the introduction of pumps in the 1950s. The Zaijrah consists of one or two Manjur (well-wheels) made from individual wedge-like sections of acacia wood, which are fitted around a central hub and bound tightly with strips of leather or shark skin. A Birkat is a cistern, which is a traditional system designed to collect and store rainfall-generated flows. It comprises an excavated chamber or a naturally occurring hollow structure. For centuries the use of birkats has been vital for the survival and development of many remote settlements in the Musandam peninsula, where they serve as the only source of water to meet domestic and livestock needs.

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Organizations in Oman


To empower underprivileged section of the society by taking stand and providing with financial and logistic support to bring quantities and qualitative changes in their livelihood development for in an Equal and just society implementing the SDG goals by the … Learn More

Projects in Oman


The Dhofar Region hosts Oman’s first major Wind Farm with a capacity of 50 MW. Alongside this large scale renewable energy production project and to support the local sustainable development, a Community Project for the local Fathkait community was implemented. … Learn More

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) (a joint venture of government of Oman and Royal Dutch Shell) developed a four-tier, gravity-based wetland system to treat produced water from oil exploration, to reduce costs and GHG emissions associated with treating and re-injecting the … Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Developed by a group of leading beverage businesses, this is an easy-to-use excel tool for beverage facilities to estimate direct costs associated with their most water- and resource- intensive processes, beyond just the cost of water from the tap. The … Learn More

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a … Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers. Learn More

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million … Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Includes Printable Materials Learn More

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

NBS offer a promising contribution on how to enhance the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption, while preserving ecosystems. In this discussion paper, 21 case studies of water management processes are analysed, using a non-representative … Learn More

FAO has been emphasizing the need to accelerate a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, advocating an integrated approach. This document focuses on the management of water for agricultural use. Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

In this link, you will find an overview of our measures and initiatives to support the health and livelihood of employees and communities in which we operate. Our three guiding principles: Health, safety, and trust of our people Safeguard the … Learn More

Developers: Heineken

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a … Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended … Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

The Coca-Cola Company is quantifying the water-related “Replenish” benefits derived through its Community Water Partnership (CWP) projects. The work described in this report builds on previous efforts, and provides a current status of quantification results for three categories of CWP … Learn More

Developers: Global Environment Technology Foundation (GETF), The Coca-Cola Company

Questions\ guidelines relating to food businesses answered by the WHO. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool … Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Soil &amp; Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a small watershed to river basin-scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate … Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH … Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice. The standard is complemented by a set of 12 quantitative performance indicators. By identifying “hotspots,” the indicators enable users to monitor … Learn More

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)

This tool is an interactive map linking nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation outcomes based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

A deep dive into three areas for business action:1 Responsible Marketing 2 Accelerating Collaborative Action at the Country Level 3 Building Resilience and Good Practice Solutions for Business Learn More

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

Water is the lifeblood of California, providing for the household needs of 40 million people and supporting one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, various commercial and industrial activities, and the health and viability of the state’s … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. … Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” … Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

UNEP Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

Lillian Holmes
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