The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MoAFWR), will celebrate World Water Day which is observed on March 22. The annual event raises awareness on the fact that water is essential for the survival and productivity of all life and ecosystems.
To boost the water wealth sector and support farmers, MoAFWR runs several projects for water sustainability, including construction of dams and maintenance of aflaj, of which the sultanate has 4,112.
The ministry has restored a number of aflaj as these are one of the main irrigation systems used in the sultanate.
According to MoAFWR, ‘Aflaj maintenance aims to support the water sector in the sultanate and support farmers. Omanis have depended on falaj irrigation for ages. The types of aflaj vary according to the geological and hydrological nature of the area.’
The ministry erected 169 dams in the period starting 1985 to 2020. These include surface and underground reservoirs, and flood protection dams with a total storage capacity of about 325mn m3. These water installations reserve quantities of water for ground recharge or to supply remote villages their water needs.
The ministry is working to enhance the underground reserve and preserve water resources from waste and depletion, while continuing water exploration and developing new water resources to meet the increasing needs of drinking water and other uses in various governorates.
Meanwhile, the total cultivation area in the country has increased over the last few years from 240,283 acres in 2017 and 259,257 acres in 2018 to 262,855 acres in 2019. Crop production was 2,622,498 tonnes in 2017; 2,951,113 tonnes in 2018; and 3,013,826 tonnes in 2019.
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