Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources


Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources

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Zekri S.,Sultan Qaboos University | Mbaga M.,Sultan Qaboos University | Fouzai A.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Shaqsi S.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
Environmental Management | Year: 2011

Increasing demand for water to develop non-agricultural activities is causing water to be diverted to high-value uses at the expense of irrigation. However, agriculture provides a flow of amenities in the desert environment which are not either accounted or paid. Oases are spread all over the globe and are threatened for various reasons among which is the high pressure of demand for fresh water. This paper estimates the recreation use value of an oasis. The paper is based on the Misfat Al-Abryeen oasis in Oman, a man-made area of streams and woodland. The travel cost method is used through an on-site questionnaire distributed to 230 visitors. Around 75% of visitors to the oasis also visited other historical or ecological sites during the same day-trip. The econometric model is estimated using negative binomial regression with endogenous stratification. The average consumer surplus, or benefit, from visiting Misfat Al-Abryeen is estimated at US$ 104.74 per individual per trip. The total social benefit from this oasis is estimated at $366,590 per year. These results underscore the importance of the role played by irrigated agriculture in the provision of amenity services for the tourism sector in a desert environment. The sustainability of the irrigation activity depends on the recognition of the recreation role of oases and the transfer of part of these benefits to the farmers who maintain the irrigation system. The implementation of an entrance fee to the oasis might increase farmers' profit by 6-21%. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Abdalla O.A.E.,Sultan Qaboos University | Ali M.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Higgi K.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources | Al-Zidi H.,Sultan Qaboos University | And 2 more authors.
Hydrogeology Journal | Year: 2010

Seawater intrusion and its spreading rate are the challenging problems in over-pumped coastal aquifers of arid zones like the Batinah region of Oman. The study delineates the saline plume, identifies saline/freshwater zones, and estimates the migration rate of the plume in the Al Khabourah area of the Batinah coast. Time domain electromagnetic surveys, aided by vertical electrical sounding surveys, and seismic refraction methods have defined the locus of the saline/freshwater interface in the area. The current (2007) interface position, when compared with that determined during 2002, indicates a prominent recession in the saline plume and suggests an average annual recession rate of 120 m. This recession may be attributed mainly to the recharging dam of Wadi Al Hawasinah, constructed in 1995, and the enforcement of new water resources legislation. This study reveals the shielding role of the recharging dam to counter advancing saline intrusion. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Askri B.,Caledonian College of Engineering | Askri B.,National Engineering School of Tunis | Ahmed A.T.,Aswan University | Al-Shanfari R.A.,Caledonian College of Engineering | And 2 more authors.
Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry | Year: 2016

A detail investigation was carried out to improve the current knowledge of groundwater salinisation processes in coastal aquifers using hydrochemical and isotopic parameters. Data of major ions for 40 wells located in the Salalah plain aquifer, Sultanate of Oman, were collected during pre-monsoon 2004 and analysed. The groundwater changes along the general flow path towards the coast from fresh (EC<1500μS/cm), brackish (EC: 1500-3000μS/cm) and saline (EC>3000μS/cm). Results of inverse modeling simulations using PHREEQC show that dissolution of halite may be the main source of Cl and Na in the study area. Ionic delta calculation indicates that the depletion of Na and K and enrichment of Ca and Mg in groundwater were probably attributed to reverse ion exchange reactions. During a sampling campaign conducted in October 2015, 11 groundwater samples were collected for Cl, Br and isotopic analysis (2H/18O). Molar Cl/Br ratios in fresh groundwater were higher than those of seawater, indicating the impact of halite dissolution on the groundwater quality. For saline groundwater, these ratios were less than those of seawater, showing the influence of anthropogenic input from agriculture on the same. Relatively depleted isotopic signature of all groundwater samples show that the monsoon precipitation is the main source of groundwater recharge in the study area. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.

Hosoda T.,Kyoto University | Shirai H.,Kyoto University | Saif A.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
River Flow 2012 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics | Year: 2012

This paper describes a method of the reproduction of flash flood events with high Froude number. Based on the method of characteristics, it is common to give two hydrographs of depth and discharge (or velocity) at the upstream boundary to reproduce unsteady super-critical flows. Contrary to the common theory in Fundamental Hydraulics, we considered to reproduce flash flood events using only one depth hydrograph at one site in a river course.We previously proved the possibility to reproduce flood flows for sub-critical flows using one depth hydrograph at one middle site between upstream and downstream boundaries, and also proposed the practical method of computation for real flood flows. In this paper, we conducted the theoretical considerations under the idealized conditions to extend the method to unsteady super-critical flows. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group.

Grundmann J.,TU Dresden | Schutze N.,TU Dresden | Schmitz G.H.,TU Dresden | Al-Shaqsi S.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

For ensuring both optimal sustainable water resources management and long-term planning in a changing arid environment, we propose an integrated Assessment-, Prognoses-, Planning- and Management tool (APPM). The new APPM integrates the complex interactions of the strongly nonlinear meteorological, hydrological and agricultural phenomena, considering the socio-economic aspects. It aims at achieving best possible solutions for water allocation, groundwater storage and withdrawals including saline water management together with a substantial increase of the water use efficiency employing novel optimisation strategies for irrigation control and scheduling. To obtain a robust and fast operation of the water management system, it unites process modeling with artificial intelligence tools and evolutionary optimisation techniques for managing both water quality and quantity. We demonstrate some key components of our methodology by an exemplary application to the south Al-Batinah region in the Sultanate of Oman which is affected by saltwater intrusion into a coastal aquifer due to excessive groundwater withdrawal for irrigated agriculture. We show the effectiveness and functionality of a new simulation-based water management system for the optimisation and evaluation of different irrigation practices, crop pattern and resulting abstraction scenarios. The results of several optimisation runs indicate that due to contradicting objectives, such as profit-oriented agriculture versus aquifer sustainability only a multi-objective optimisation can provide sustainable solutions for the management of the water resources in respect of the environment as well as the socio-economic development. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Abdalla O.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Abri R.Y.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

Younger groundwater found in some Omani aquifers is a result of recent recharge from cyclonic and storm events [Weyhenmeyer et al. (Science 287:842-845, 2000); Young et al. (J Appl Geophys 57:43-61, 2004)]. The analysis of the meteorological data in Oman indicates an anomalous rainfall on a decadal interval whereas cyclones frequency is expected to increase due to global climatic changes. The cyclone Gonu has severely struck the eastern Omani coasts in 2007 resulting in devastating floods. Huge volume of water (3,672 mm3) spread over the coastal plain calling for an assessment of potential groundwater recharge subsequent to this event. The present study evaluates groundwater recharge with respect to Gonu 2007 to assess the potential of recharge induced by such cyclones in the arid zones. The hydrographs of several piezometers sited along the coastal plain in Muscat Province have been studied and variation in water table rise has been analyzed. Significant water table rise is indicated for areas with geological and structural settings favoring rapid infiltration of water yielding considerable groundwater mound, whereas piezometers located in less favorable zones show minimum rise of water table. However, soon after the floods the aquifer hydrodynamics has readjusted to attain equilibrium and the groundwater mound dissipated. The cumulative rise of the water table on an areal extent does not exceed a few centimeters indicating lesser volume of recharge. Comparatively, recharge from frequent precipitation along favorable zones produces more significant recharge compared with cyclonic events where surface water residence time is shorter to allow for efficient infiltration. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Abdalla O.A.E.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Rawahi A.S.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2013

Groundwater depletion and seawater intrusion constitute major challenges along coastal aquifers in arid areas. This paper assesses the role of groundwater recharge dams constructed to replenish aquifers and fight seawater intrusion with reference to AlKhod dam, Oman, sited 7 km from the coast on a gravely unconfined aquifer. Water table rise in piezometers located downstream from the dam shows regular patterns correlating with magnitude of wadi flow, whereas upstream piezometers show irregular patterns. Controlled release of water captured by the dam optimizes water percolation and enhances artificial recharge which was estimated in the wet years 1997, 2003 and 2005 as 15, 22 and 27 Mm3, respectively, using water table fluctuation method. Recharge contributed 40-60 % of the total annual abstraction. Groundwater salinity increased in the 1980s and 1990s and the saline/freshwater interface advanced inland, but has receded partially after 1997 (highest rainfall) and completely after 2005 indicated by reduction in electrical conductivity and thickening of freshwater lens. The recession is attributed to the dam's induced recharge and reduction of pumping in 2004 following the commissioning of Barka desalination plant. Integrating artificial recharge with groundwater resources management is therefore an effective measure to replenish aquifers in arid areas and mitigate seawater intrusion along the coasts. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Prathapar S.A.,International Water Management Institute | Bawain A.A.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
Water International | Year: 2014

Recharge dams in Oman detain floods to recharge groundwater. The impact of sedimentation on recharge at Wadi Sahalanowt Recharge Dam, in Salalah, Oman, was evaluated using field data and numerical modelling. Analysis of the thickness of sediments after flood events shows that maximum depositions were at the same locations after each event, coinciding with the lowest positions in the wadi. Numerical modelling suggests that the current practice of periodic removal of sediments will restore the storage capacity of the reservoir, but that ploughing or raking of the underlying native sedimentary rocks could be required to significantly improve infiltration rates. © 2014 © 2014 International Water Resources Association.

Abdalla O.A.E.,Sultan Qaboos University | Suliman F.O.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Ajmi H.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources | Al-Hosni T.,Sultan Qaboos University | Rollinson H.,University of Derby
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2010

The use of cyanide (CN), which is characterized by volatility, toxicity and high odor, in gold mining is scarcely addressed in the literature and remain controversial. Environmentalists oppose CN usage as it potentially poses serious environmental threats, whereas economic and mining geologists are in favor of its usage for its extracting capacity and economic feasibility. The present study investigates the possible dispersion of CN into groundwater resources caused by a gold mine (ca. 15 years old) located in the arid area of Yanqul, North Oman. The gold is hosted in gossan deposits associated with ophiolitic rocks and sulfide deposits. Sodium cyanide is mixed with 0.5 m3 of water and then added to a tonne of crushed ore rock to extract 6 g of gold mineral. The final residues are dumped in engineered, lined and uncovered tailing dams. Subsequent to rainfall water draining the mine plateau flows along the wadies and percolates into the shallow Quaternary alluvium aquifer. Hence, groundwater samples were collected from 16 piezometers adjacent to and around the mine. The samples were analyzed for CN using the revised phenolphthalin method and they all show CN concentration below the detection limit (5 ppb). The samples were also analyzed for heavy metals to investigate the potential of CN complexation. Most of heavy metals indicated very trace concentration. The absence of CN in groundwater is attributed to volatilization of CN (converted to HCN), lined dam structure, high evapotranspiration rate and deeper water table. This finding is consistent with the historical CN analysis in the groundwater and solid wastes. It can be pointed out that within few years of operation well engineered tailing dams can provide safe structure preventing CN-groundwater pollution in arid areas. Potential threats to the air and soil are not addressed in this article. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Al-Kharousi N.,Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources | Al-Khusaibi M.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Bulushi I.,Sultan Qaboos University | Guizani N.,Sultan Qaboos University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Food Engineering | Year: 2016

In this study, oxidative stability of date-pits (i. e. Khalas variety) was investigated during storage as a function of temperature. The stability of date-pits oil was determined by measuring acid value (AV), peroxide value (PV), p-anisidine value (PAV), tocopherol and oxidative stability index. Initial characteristics of oil were assessed by measuring its physico-chemical and melting characteristics, fatty acids composition and aflatoxin. Storage of date-pits caused highest reduction in linoleic acid (C18:2, ω6) followed by oleic acid (C18:1, ω9). AV, PV and PAV of the fresh oil were 1.41 mg KOH/g oil, 3.30 meq/kg oil and 0.60, respectively. These values increased linearly at slower rate in the case of 30°C storage, while sharp rise was observed after 40 days in cases of 100 and 150°C storage (p < 0.05). The results of this study indicate that date pits oil had a good oxidative and thermal stability and could thus be used to develop value-added food ingredients. © 2016 by De Gruyter.

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